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:
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Richard Harneker" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2019 00:34:26 +0100
Subject: Good Day Dear How are you today?
How are you today?
This is to notify you that Ecowas community of west Africa have agreed to arranged your over-due contract compensation payment of $2.5Million USD through ATM VISA CARD in your name today, this ATM payment center will send you ATM VISA CARD which you will use to withdraw your money in any ATM machine in any part of the world at the maximum rate of $10,000.00 us dollars per day.
Therefore do not hesitate to contact UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA (UBA) and also re-confirm the following information as listed below:
1. YOUR FULL NAME:
2. YOUR HOME ADDRESS:
3. YOUR DIRECT CELL NUMBER:
4. A COPY OF YOUR ID:
5. YOUR COUNTRY:
Forward the above information to:Rev.Schdrack T.Johnson (DIRECTOR ATM PAYMENT CENTER) Direct line:+22891212762 e-mail (RevSchdrackTJohnson@vivaldi.net)UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA has been mandated to issue out your payment and you have to stop any further communication with any other person(s) or office(s) to avoid hitches in receiving your ATM CARD.
Note that because of impostors,UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA also issued you their code of conduct, which is (0458) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the ATM CARD payment center by using it as your subject.
Mr. Richard Harneker