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.
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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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss. Janet Lyellen" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2022 18:06:09 +0100
Subject: Your United Nations Compensation Award is Ready For Payout.
United Nations Economic and Social Council
In Affiliation with The World Bank & IMF
UN Compensation & Restitution Unit
We are pleased to inform you that after a thorough review of all unclaimed funds worldwide, the series of meetings and deliberations among the new officials of the United Nations Organization in affiliation with the IMF-International Monetary Fund and World Bank recently ended on a positive note. This email is to those that were unable to receive their inheritance and awarded funds, and foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sums. The decision to compensate you and a few other persons listed in the same category with the sum of USD$9,800,000.00 was collectively agreed upon, thus preventing all common and established governmental factors from affecting your compensation fund payment.
The detailed professional audit reports given to us and as confirmed by Deloitte show that the payment of your fund was delayed by some dubious and exploitative officers which means the transaction has remained unfinished to date. Therefore, you must henceforth follow our directives only, stop further communications and correspondence outside this office and reply with a colored copy of your government photo ID, your Full Name, Address, Telephone number, Mobile number, Age, Occupation/Job Position. An officer with the office of the secretary-general will provide you with further information on your approved payment method and process.
Miss. Janet Lyellen
Payment Reconciliation Committee United Nations
An Intergovernmental Organization.