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:
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: "Rev Paul Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 4 May 2016 06:56:59 -0700
Subject: Please, Call Me Or Email ...Urgent Before It
Please Confirm This Information As Urgent As Possible. Did You Send Mr.Elvin Jones , From Usa To Come
And Claim Your Contract Funds Valued At Usd$ 40 Million ?. Your Funds
Which Has Been Long Approved In Your Name By The Federal Government
Of Nigeria, And Was Deposit Here In Union Bank Nigeria Plc.
I Am Confused .Who Is Mr. Elvin Jones, Your Brother. He Just Emailed
Me Your Power Of Attorney Stating That Your Total Fund Of
$40.000.000.00 Shall Be Wired To His Bank Account As Your Next Of Kin
The below Bank accounts are submitted by your representative(s)/Local
associate(s)with some Legal and change of account document to divert
your fund into their personal bank account:
Bank Name:CIBC BANK
Bank Address:,#3003 DANFORTH AVENUE ,DANFORTH & VICTORIA BRANCH, CANADA
TRANSIT # : 07932/010
ACCOUNT #: 92-26133 (US$ CURRENT)
BENEFICIARY :Mr.Elvin Jones
United States of America Account:
Bank Name: Bank of America
Bank Address: 5938 FM Road 2920 Spring, Texas 77379 United States of America
Account Number: 5860-1175-0889
Swift Code: BOFAUS3N
Routing Code: 111000025
BENEFICIARY: Mr. Elvin Jones
But we decided not to make any transfer into the bank accounts without
proper verification and authorization from you as the Beneficiary.Did
you authorized the release of your fund into the above account? We
therefore request that you stop any communication with any office in
Africa and abroad,respond to this email immediately to enable us
proceed with the release of your fund accordingly.Reconfirm the
Please, Call Me Or Email ...Urgent Before It
Anyway I Want You To Know That The Reason Why All This Is Happening Is
Because Of Your Delay In Sending The Fee. So I Will Advise
You To Try Your Best And See That You Send The Fee Without
Re-Confirm The Following Informations Immediately For Payment Approval:
1) Your Full Name.
2) Phone, Fax And Mobile #.
3) Company Name, Position And Address.
4) Profession, Age And Marital Status.
5) Copy Of Int'l Passport, Driver's License, Or Any Valid Id Card.
Please Quote This Payment Codes (Code :Fgn/Ubn3124-File111-Ubn) In All
Conversation Or Else You Will Not Be Recognized As A
Beneficiary/Contractor With This Government And Note Any Further
Message Without My Identification Or Passport Photograph Should Be
Disregarded To Avoid Any Fraudulent Hijack Of Information.
Rev Paul Williams
Director Of Foreign Payment Department
Union Bank Nigeria Plc.
Direct Mobile Tel +234-7084751337