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.
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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 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Union Bank Plc." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2017 06:33:00 -0800
Subject: ARE YOU READY TO RECEIVE YOUR FUNDS.s
You have benn listed among the people that could not receive their over-due funds and the main reason you did not receive it since is because you have not sign the original documents of your payment and there is know way you will receive Millions of Dollars without signing the original documents of your payment as the beneficiary. Because of the insincerity of the officials you were dealing it before, my bank has benn mandated to pay you immediately.
Your contract payment documents is ready and it will be sned to you as soon as we hear back from you so that your approved Twenty Egight Million Dollars will be credited into your account without further delay as all the modalities regarding your payment has been completed. We are very sorry for all the inconviences you have gone through before in trying to receive your funds.
We are waiting for your urgent reply as soon as you receive this message and you are rest assured that your account will be credited without any delay. To enable us process your payment, we need your full name and address.
Mrs. Glory Adewale
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.