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:
- "million 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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: DAN OKEKE <email@example.com>
Reply-To: DAN OKEKE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2015 01:36:42 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attn: ATM Card Owner,
Welcome to UBA Benin
United Bank for Africa (UBA) plc, Africa's global bank.
Carrefour des trois Banques Avenue Pape Jean Paul II, Cotonou, Benin
P.o.Box 01 BP 2023 Cotonou Benin
Ph. +229 982-90-123
Fax. +229 618-64-801
Attn: ATM Card Owner,
We the management of United Bank for Africa (UBA) wishes to inform you that your order to convert your funds into an ATM Visa Card has been completed. Our ATM processing Unit has finally processed the ATM Card and your total funds valued at USD$4.5 Million United States Dollars has be loaded into your ATM Card account with us here in UBA Benin.
For immediate delivery of your ATM Card to your home address through DHL or FedEx courier delivery company, kindly respond back to us with your current delivery address in full details, also your direct cell phone number to enable fast communication.
The delivery arrangement has been made, immediately we receive your home delivery address as instructed, your ATM Card will be registered for delivery with one of the mentioned courier delivery company and you will receive the package after three days without further delay.
We wait your urgent response.
Mr. Dan Okeke
****************************** **********CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE************************ **************
This email and any attachments to it contain information that is confidential and may be privileged. It is for the exclusive use of the intended recipient(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s) please note that any form of distribution, copying or use of this communication or the information contained in it is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this email in error, please return it to the sender and delete the email from your records