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:
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: "UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2010 18:23:07 +0200
Subject: URGENT RESPONSE ..
From United Bank for Africa ATM department
RE:YOUR PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
From: Mr Lucas Morgan.
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract
inheritance file presently on my desk, and I found out that you
have not received your payment due to your lack of co-operation
and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your
contract /inheritance payment. Secondly, you are hereby advice to
stop dealing with some non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal
act and will have to stop if you so wish to receive your payment
immediately. After the board meeting held at our headquarters,
we have resolved in finding a solution to your problem, and as you
may know, we have arranged your payment through our SWIFT
CARD PAYMENT CENTRE in Europe, America and Asia Pacific, which
is then instruction given by our new president, Chief Goodluck
Jonathan(GCFR) Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The funds has been accomodated into an ATM MASTER DEBIT
CARD and it is worth $1.5m (One Million Five Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars) you will be able to withdraw a maximuum of
$5000 daily with this ATM card. The following information is
needed from you to proceed with the shipment Asap
(1) Your Full Name :
(2) Your Address where you want the payment centre to send your
(3) Phone And Fax Number:
(4) Age and Occupation :
(5) Your Nearest International Air Port in your City of residence:
We shall be expecting to receive your information you have stop
any further communication with anybody or office. On this regards,
do not hesitate to contact me for more details and direction, and
also please do update me with any new development. Please
contact me on my private email: email@example.com
Thanks for your co-operation.
Mr. Lucas Morgan
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA