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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Dan Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2023 15:39:53 +0100
Subject: Re: RELIEF / COMPENSATION FUND OF $1,500,000.00 USD
I am Dr.Dan Miller, the United Nations Special Representative for
Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). We are pleased to inform you that
United Nations organization department for disaster management, in
conjunction with IMF, is giving out humanitarian relief fund worth the
total sum of $1,500,000.00 USD, and your E-mail Address has been
selected among other's to receive this humanitarian fund.
The United Nations Humanitarian Fund is a UN inter-agency fund
mechanism established by the UN Secretary-General to help support low
and middle income people(s) to respond to the humanitarian crisis,
including an unprecedented socio-economic shock. The Fundâs assistance
programs targets those most vulnerable to economic hardship and social
disruption around the world.
We are delighted to inform you that due to mixed up of names and
numbers, your email which attached to approved number (UNHMC-198619),
which consequently fall on our Chapter, therefore, you are advised to
reach our grant manager ( Mr. Robert N. TAWONA ) at your earliest
convenient through his contact information's as stated below, to claim
your $1,500,000.00 USD relief support.
Name: Mr. Mr. Robert N. TAWONA
Email Address: ( email@example.com )
Telephone: ( +229 ) 699 363 62
The information's required for the transfer of your Covid-19 Relief
fund, should include the following:
NOTE: that the amount to be paid to you is ( $1,500, 000.00 USD ), we
are expecting your urgent attention to this e-mail to enable us
monitor the transaction effectively.
Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).