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:
- "clearance fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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: "Ahlenius" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2023 12:17:12 +0100
Subject: UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES
From Mrs.Inga-Britt Ahlenius
This is to inform you that, after a series of complaints from the Security agencies from Asia, Europe, South America, and the United States of America respectively against the Federal Government for the rate of scam activities going on in these Nations.
Right now, the international monitoring fund (IMF) have decided to waive away all your clearance fees/Charges and authorize the bank to effect your compensation payment of $10.5 Million approved to pay you without any hesitation. The only fee you will pay to confirm your $10.5 Million fund is only the Authorization fee which is $225.
Send your information as urgently as possible.
Bank Account Number:
I'm waiting for your urgent response for the immediate processing now .
U N Secretary-