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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Lucia Brooks" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2023 11:55:41 -0800
Subject: INVESTIGATION AND INTERVENTION UNIT.
MS. LUCIA BROOKS
OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS OMBUDSMAN/INVESTIGATION AND INTERVENTION UNIT.
ATTENTION APPROVED BENEFICIARY OF UNITED NATION COMPENSATION:
After several investigations and research at internet database we find
you among those that have been communicating with various categories
of scammers and defrauded and this proves that you have truly been
swindled by these scammers in the hope of getting one fund or the
other that is not real. We are working together with International
and National Security agencies in the most affected regions to track
every fraudsters down to make them pay for their evil deeds,
For you to be on safe side do not respond to their e-mails, letters
and phone calls any longer as they are scams and you should be very
careful to avoid being a victim to fraudsters any longer because they
have nothing to offer you but to rip-off what you have worked
earnestly hard to earn and have as a life savings to take care of your
With the assistance of all the well known philanthropists worldwide
together with the United Nations intervention Unit the sum of Two
Million Seven Hundred Thousand US Dollars (US$2.7M USD) should be
transferred to you as compensation for being defrauded devastated.
Be warned! Stop all communication with them. We have deposited your
fund at payment agent location where the investigation started.
Reconfirm your information to them so they can be sure of the person
they are paying. Contact the UN Resident Representative in Republic
of Benin as accredited payment agent through this email address
stated below and do update me as soon as you receive your
Contact person: Dr. Mr Aouale. M. Abchir.
POSITION: ACCREDITED UNITED NATIONS PAYMENT AGENT.
Mrs. Lucia Brooks
UN Investigation Officer(ombudsman)