fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: =?UTF-8?Q?Ant=C3=B3nio_Guterres?= <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2022 00:04:47 -0700
Subject: G20 and UN on World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022
This message is to notify you that we have taken time to review your
transactions with foreign banks especially in Africa and the United
Kingdom. We want you to know that we have contacted most of these
foreign banks to find out why your compensation funds were withheld,
and the final solution to this problem. Conclusively, we discovered
that your unpaid contract/compensation funds were not properly
documented for an international fund transfer and we cannot let these
foreign Banks Continue to suspend your payment to your designated bank
Such transfer suspension was placed on your funds because you're a
foreigner and the majority of these international bank officers want
to frustrate you in order to transfer the funds to their respective
swiss account for their selfish interest.
IN joint alliance with the International Monetary Fund to resolve this
issue, we wish to let you know that we have been mandated to assist
you in transferring your funds but only the total sum of Twelve
Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars
($12,500,000.00USD) was approved for payment to you in order to enable
you receive the funds in your bank account.
Therefore, we wish to inform you again that we are now making
arrangements from our department to process and pay you the
outstanding debt of$12,500,000.00 USD owed to you immediately you
provide the complete requirements needed for the processing and
transfer of this payment such: Your Full name, residential
address,Direct Telephone Number and Your current Occupation.
Failure to properly reply and provide the required information above
will nullify your chances of receiving your unclaimed funds and this
fund will be confiscated and made to be forfeited under the Money
Laundering and Other Financial Crime Prohibition Act of 2006.
PLEASE URGENTLY ACKNOWLEDGE THE RECEIPT OF THIS MESSAGE FOR IMMEDIATE
RELEASE OF YOUR FUNDS.
Yours In Service
UN Secretary General