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:
- 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)
- 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.
- +229 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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: mrs alice jonson <email@example.com>
Reply-To: mrs alice jonson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:30:00 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: FROM UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA < uba.group
Â Â FROM UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA < uba.groupSubject: Re: VERY URGENT!Sent: Thu, DECEMBER 7, 2014 9:40:13 PM
HEADQUARTERS: UBA House, 57 AKPOKU ROAD, P.O. Box Benin republicTel: +229, 68485991.
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,ATM ACTIVATION DEPARTMENT CENTRE.
RE: TRANSFER OF ($6 M USD) IN YOUR FAVOUR AS INSTRUCTED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY AND THE UNITED NATIONS.
We have received your email and have as well been instructed to release your funds as we have just been contacted by the United States Department of the Treasury and the office of the accountant general of the Federation to transfer the sum of Six Million Dollars ' $6 M USD' to you as the rightful beneficiary of the said funds. Based on the information submitted to our bank, you have to be urgent in this regard as we have limited liquidity in our reserve to pay all the short-listed beneficiaries/contractors.
Importantly, the Ministry of Finance has approved that your funds be Â Â via a VISA ATM CARD. This is because of Money transfer charges/certificates. The Visa Card mode of transfer is cheaper for you.
In furtherance of your fundâs transfer, the Ministry of Finance have approved a ' VISA CARD' mode of transfer.
>From the records, the total of ($6 M USD) has been approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria in line with the nationâs policy, to pay your outstanding contract/inheritance payment in this Third Quarter, of this fiscal year 2014.
Meanwhile, your VISA ATM CARD will be produced and made available very soon. As soon as that is done I will scan and attach it and send it to you by email for you to view it. Note that this special VISA ATM CARD will allow you to withdraw a maximum of $2,500 per day limit. Though money will be dispensed in accordance with ATM CARD Rules and Regulation in your country.
This VISA CARD is acceptable in over 120 countries of the world, including the United States, Mexico, China, Canada and Europeâ USA,
The VISA CARD mode was approved for you due it' s cost effectiveness.
KINDLY RECONFIRM THE FOLLOWING:
YOUR FULL NAMES. . . . . .
YOUR COMPLETE ADDRESS. . . . . . .
YOUR AGE, SEX AND OCCUPATION. . . . . . .
YOUR CELL PHONE #. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .YOUâRE CONTRY
Thanks, and we wait for your swift response.
PLEASE FILL THE ATTACHED ' ATM CARD FORM' AS APPLICABLE.. . ALSO ATTACHED IS THE APPROVAL CERTIFICATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE.
Please call me if you need further clarification.Sincerely,
MR. William UBA
ATM ACTIVATION DEPARTMENT CENTRE.
TEL: +229.68485991 .Email, email@example.com)that is the formantEmail firstname.lastname@example.org Â