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)
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- 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: mr williams mike <"www."@eos.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: mr williams mike <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2016 12:07:40 +0900 (JST)
Subject: ATTENTION : CARD OWNER,
DIRECTOR ATM CARD DEPARTMENT UBA BANK PLC
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BENIN WEST AFRICA.
OUR REF:U.B./MF/B01/Vol 01.
DIRECTOR CONTACT EMAIL ( email@example.com )
NUMBER OFFICE TEXT OR CALL ( +22999336835)
ATTENTION : CARD OWNER,
MY NAME IS ,MR.WILLIMAS MIKE FROM FOREIGN TRANSFER OFFICE, I AM HEREBY TO
INFORM YOU THAT UBA BANK PLC BENIN REPUBLIC HAVE BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE
OUT YOUR PAYMENT OF $5.8 MILLION USD THROUGH ATM VISA CARD. YOU ARE
ADVISED TO STOP FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER PERSON(S) OR
OFFICE(S) TO AVOID MADE A MISTAKE IN RECEIVING YOUR ATM VISA CARD.
UBA BANK MANAGER HAVE CONFIRMED AUTOMATION OF YOUR SWIFT PAYMENT THROUGH
AN ELECTRONIC ATM CARD PAYMENT. THE BANK HAVE ARRANGED YOUR PAYMENT
THROUGH SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER ASIA PACIFIC THIS CARD CENTER WILL SEND
YOU AN ATM VISA CARD WHICH YOU WILL USE TO WITHDRAW YOUR MONEY IN ANY ATM
MACHINE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD . THE MAXIMUM DAILY WITHDRAWAL IS $12,000
US DOLLARS PER DAY. YOUR TOTAL FUND IN THE CARD IS $5.8 MILLION USD . NOW
YOU ARE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR FUND BY CONTACTING THE BANK TODAY. THIS IS A
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT IN COLLABORATION WITH MASTER CARD COMPANY USA.
SEND THEM THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION OF YOURS FOR THE CONCLUSION OF THE
DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM VISA CARD:
(1). YOUR FULL NAME
(2). YOUR COUNTRY,
(3). YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBERS,
(4). MOBILE PHONE NUMBER,
(5). YOUR CORRECT HOME ADDRESS,
(6). YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION,
(7). YOUR WEEKLY/MONTHLY INCOME,
(8). YOUR AGE/ SEX
(9). YOUR NEXT OF KIN NAME AND EMAIL.
CONTACT MR.WILLIMAS MIKE WITH THIS INFORMATION: CONTACT EMAIL (
MR.WILLIMAS MIKE FOREIGN PAYMENT DEPARTMENT UBA BANK BENIN REPUBLIC
OFFICE TELL PHONE : (+22999336835)
NOTE THAT BECAUSE OF IMPOSTORS THE (UBA BANK) ARE HEREBY ISSUED YOU OUR
CODE OF CONDUCT WHICH IS ATM-0202 SO YOU HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN
CONTACTING MR.WILLIMAS MIKE ON THE CARD CENTER BY USING IT AS YOUR
SUBJECT. KINDLY NOTIFY (UBA BANK) IMMEDIATELY TO CONFIRM THE RECEIPT OF
THIS MESSAGE FROM THE U. B. A BANK.
CONTACT EMAIL ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
PLC.HEAD OF ATM DEPT (UBA BANK) BENIN.