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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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. Billy Agha" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mr. Billy Agha" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2011 04:06:07 +0800 (SGT)
Your Payment File has been submitted to this Bank for immediate Payment.Instruction was given and We were Directed by the Federal Government of Benin through
the Federal Ministry of Finance to transfer your inheritance funds Payment of $2.7Million(TWO MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
DOLLARS)through International ATM VISA Card and deliver to you,which you can use in any near cash point,shopping mall or any bank around you.You can make withdrawal of money from your International ATM VISA Card from any ATM MACHINE location or outlet of your choice/nearest to you, in any part of
Be informed that the office of the presidency on your behalf has secured the approval of your Inheritance payment of usd$2.7Million(Two Million Seven Hundred Thousand United State of America Dollars) and also your ATM Debit Card has been upgraded and processed by UBA Bank Plc. we have loaded the $2.7Million
into the ATM DEBIT CARD and in your favour ,the Pin Code /password of the ATM VISA CARD will be forwarded to you by Express shipping Service to your
door step for security purposes once you have meet up with directive of the board.
You are advice to forward to this Bank your full contact address to enable us ship your ATM CARD payment to you by a international Courier Service which will
dispatch your ATM Card to you within 48hrs.forward to this Bank ATM DEPARTMENT this required information's below.
Your Full names/occupation
Your physical contact,Home or Office address
Your Direct Telephone number and a copy of your identity
Direct your response to this ( email@example.com )
AND Call +22966784079 contact person :Mr.Williams Paul
Thanks for your co-operation
Secretary General UBA Foreign Operation Payment Due Process Unit