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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "lagos" (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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA <SA1@gbftwq.ma.tn>
Date: Mon, 29 Feb 2016 01:16:04 -0800
Subject: YOUR APPROVED FUND....2
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA - AFRICA'S GLOBAL BANK HEAD OFFICE ADDRESS UBA HOUS=
E 57 MARINA P.O. BOX 2406 LAGOS NIGERIA PHONE: +234 903 213 5023 FAX: 234 6=
74 478 8273 My name is Felix Adeyemi the director cash processing unit, u=
nited bank for Africa [UBA}. The international monetary fund (I.M.F.) in =
conjunction with Organization of African Unity (O.A.U) has directed us to p=
ay you One million five hundred thousand united state dollars ($1.500, 000.=
00) in cash through means of diplomatic courier service hand delivery. Ta=
ke note: Three thousand united state dollars (usd$3,000) have been mapped o=
ut for all expenses in taxes and other documents that matters. Therefore,=
do forward your home address and direct phone number to me for quick deliv=
ery because time is not in our side. Please reply/direct your email to this=
email:firstname.lastname@example.org Regards, Felix Adeyemi Director cash p=
rocessing unit united bank for Africa. (U.B.A). PHONE: +234 903 213 5023 FA=
X: 234 674 478 8273 Email:email@example.com