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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "i will give you 35% " (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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Clark Jones" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2018 01:43:36 +0700
I am Clark Jones,and I work in the International operation department in UBS bank Uk. On a routine inspection I discovered a dormant domiciliary account with a BAL. Of 36,000,000 (Thirty Six Million USD) on further discreet investigation, I also discovered that the account holder has long since passed away (dead) leaving no beneficiary to the account.
The bank will approve this money to any foreigner because the former operator of the a/c is a foreigner and from Saudi Arabia in particular and I am certainly sure that he is dead, and nobody will come again for the claim of this money A foreigner can only claim this money with legal claims to the account Holder; therefore I need your cooperation in this transaction.
I will provide the necessary information needed in order to claim this money, But you will need to open an account where this can be transferred.
If interested send your private Telephone No. And Fax number including full details of the account to be used for the Deposit I wish for utmost confidentiality in handling this transaction as my job and the future of my family would be jeopardized if it were breached.
I want to assure you that the transaction is without risk if due process is followed accordingly. Finally, I will give you 35% for your corporation.
I look forward to a favorable response from you.
International operation manager
UBS bank UK.