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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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 John Benson," <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mr John Benson," <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 22:00:49 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Call Office Number: +229 61423761
Good day dear Beneficiary,
How are you doing hoping all is well with you and your family? We know you might have forgotten about this your outstanding fund due to delay on the delivery up till now.
We are here by writing to inform you that your file was found in our old payment files and we discovered that your compensation payment of $4.7 Million united state dollars have not been sent to you as it was instructed by (ECO-WAS)The Economic Community of West African States (ECO-WAS) We are here to inform you that your payment has been converted into UBA VISA CREDIT CARD to free it from Expiring, and all the necessary arrangement for your ATM MASTER CARD Payment that worth $4.7Million United State Dollars has been granted for your payment through Our VISA CREDIT CARD Department Center.
now we required your Informations to update our VISA CREDIT CARD Department Center with your contact details as stated below so that we will proceed with the necessary arrangement for the delivery of your VISA CREDIT CARD:
1 Your Full name, ________________
2. Your home Address, ______________
3. Your telephone number, ______
4. Your office telephone number___
5. A copy of your ID, _____________
6. Your age/sex, ____________________
7. Your occupation, __________________
8. Your country, __________________
Therefore you should Contact to OUR VISA CREDIT CARD PAYMENT DEPARTMENT CENTER Immediately Contact Person; Mr.Brian Moynihan contact us immediately to know when your VISA CARD will be delivered to you.
make sure that you send the required Informations to Mr.Brian Moynihan for update and to avoid wrong delivery.
Thanks and God Bless You.
Mr John Benson,
Call Office Number: +229 61423761