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:
- 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 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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "António Guterres (United Nations )" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2023 22:24:04 +0100
Subject: RE-CONFIRM YOUR INFORMATION TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND OF US$1.5M)
Hello and Congratulations!!!
This is to acquaint you on the outcome of our 1 day meeting held between the U.S Department of Homeland security Washington DC, U.N International Financial Investigation Unit and the Association of Better Business Bureau to compensate all scam victims. Upon due verification, we have jointly approved the sum US$1.5m (One million, Five hundred thousand United States Dollars) for every confirmed victim. Your E-mail address was selected through a just concluded random computer ballot system, and you were among the few selected beneficiary to be compensated at the ongoing 2023 compensation program.
Furthermore, adequate arrangement has been put in place for your approved payment to be remitted to you via issuance of a Platinum Visa Debit Card that can be accessible at any inter-switch cash machine anywhere in the world.
Finally; for the purpose of proper verification of your claims, it is imperative that you furnish us with the following of your details necessary to process release/remittance of your payment:
Your Full Name(s):
Your Direct Telephone Number:
Contact Address( For Your Visa Card Delivery)
Photocopy of any I.D you may have:
You are expected to forward the above information to the Authorized Payment Center in Africa below:
Paying Bank: ZENITH BANK PLC
Contact Person: CHRIS LUCAS
You are advised to contact the above bank immediately with your information to enable your fund processed and released to you within the stipulated time frame.
United Nations Secretary-General