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:
- "atm card department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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 Plc" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2005 01:34:41 +0200
Subject: Attn Beneficiary, RE- PAYMENT NOTIFICATION 2015/2016: Reply !!!
United Bank For Africa Plc
U. B. A. House, 57, Marina,
P. O. Box 2406, Lagos.
Cable: MINDO BANK
RE- PAYMENT NOTIFICATION 2015/2016:
It will be important that we confirm to you once again that your name and claim was among the beneficiaries slated for immediate payment and of which the relevant Foreign Exchange Allocation has been issued to the United Bank
For Africa Plc under the sole stewardship of the Head of Operations at the Telex/Swift Department of the United Bank For Africa Plc which has been giving the Fiat authority to effect payment to all creditor confirmed
eligible and report back to the office of the operation Director.
Kindly review below informations of Bank Account Holder whom you have instructed to receive the compensation fund of USD$9,700,000.00 (Nine Million Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars) on your behalf, she has written to
us to make the payments in her name. Kindly view the details to see if you have instructed this person to collect your fund. This fund are made from United Nation to compensate the scam victims, if you have not authorized
this person to collect your fund on your behalf, ensure to get back to us with immediately effect to enable our bank stop further crediting. ( Did you recommend her) ?
NAME of Beneficiary: .....................Mrs. Mercy Johnson,
Name of Bank
The Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking
Corporation Ltd (HSBC), Qollyer Quay Branch, Singapore.
Bank Address: 21 Quay #01-01 HSBC Building, Singapore 049320.
Account Number: ..............260-818299-270
Bank Swift Code: HSBCSGSG
BANK:................... WELLS FARGO
ADDRESS:............... 500 NORTH CIRCLE DRIVE COLORADO SPRING COLORADO
ROUTING NO:................ 121000248
A/C NO: ..............2042509535
SWIFT CODE:............. WFBIUS6S
ACCOUNT BENEFICIARY:............ Mrs. Mercy Johnson.
(If you have not authorized this name person above, kindly send below
details of yours to enable us communicate with you thereafter).
(1). Complete Full Name................................................
(2). Home /Office Address.................................................
(3). Scan copy of International Passport or National Driving License.
(4). Mobile telephone
Regrettably however, it has been reported at today's session that you have been duly advised by the Telex/Swift Department of the United Bank For Africa Plc with the need for your collaboration with them to effect the necessary verification and validations to facilitate the immediate disbursement of fund to your favor.
Procurement of the necessary and classified Claims and Acquisition Mandate" in your name to execute the immediate and final transfer of your fund to your account as per schedule. Therefore, you are strictly directed hereby to contact and cooperate with the Telex /Swift Department of the United Bank For Africa Plc and furnish their office with the required details and
reconfirmation of the settlement for the immediate release of your fund through this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com Should you require any further clarification, do not hesitate to contact us; we are at your disposal.
ATM Card Department UBA BANK PLC.
(Call Me )