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:
- "million 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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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: Yaya/ jara <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Yaya/ jara <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 16:39:50 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CONGRATULATION. Congratulation.
This is to officially inform you that your Email ID has being picket as the one of the lucky winner in European Enterprise Promotion Award 2014 so you are instructed to contact the paying bank in charge for the processing of your payment Mr.Aaron Bank Manager, email address:
(Â email@example.com )Â contact them now with your information for the payment of your wining prize. Below is the information needed from you (1.) Full Name: (2.) House Address: (3.)
Status: (4.) Occupation: (5.) Phone Number: (6.) Country: (7.) Age:
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA - (UBA)
ADDRESS; rue 7741 unesvia avenue kotoungbe
BENIN-COTONOU ( WEST AFRICA )
TEL: +229 61277549 FAX: +229 68796949
Bank email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DIRECTOR: MR. ARON BANZA
Please i advice you now kindly verify the uba paying bank Website: www.ubagroup.com for you to know that verything is 100% real for your urgent notice because many have received their fund from this bank good luck.
Listen very carefully now this is 100% real not as you may think because
others client have received their fund since last two weeks ego from the
paying bank here.
You should confirm to me once you receive your funds 1.5 Million dollars to your position, for official record in
I wait for your urgent respond.
Mr. Yaya .Jara.
Telephone number +229 61277549