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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transferred into your bank account" (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)
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Paul" < Paul @yahoo.com>
Date: Sat, 08 Apr 2017 09:50:12 +0100
Subject: Attention: Customer
From The Desk Of Mr. Paul Gbeto UBA -United Bank for Africa Pl c. Uba95 Mar=
ina,Lagos, Nigeria DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE FOREIGN OPERATIONS DE=
PT, Attention: Customer, We thank you for your co-operation on the successf=
ul transfer of first Batch of your part payment of Ten Million One Hundred =
Thousand US Dollar ($10,100,000.00) transferred into your bank account as s=
tated Below which you have acknowledged receipt of the fund. NAME OF BANK: =
CAPITAL ONE BANK BANK ADDRESS: N.Y. 11373, USA. ACCOUNT # 580294045 ACCOUNT=
: NAME: MARIA T. EL-ZEIN ROUTING CODE: 021407912 SWIFT CODE. NFBKWS22 Howev=
er, we write to inform you that the remaining balance of your Fund has been=
approved for payment again and would be transferred to The same bank accou=
nt as stated above which you provided in the course Of the former payment r=
eceived. Kindly advise and notify us of changes if any before we proceed wi=
th The transfer. Please note that the transfer shall be the same way we Mad=
e the first payment to you thus; telegraphic transfer and shall be Confirm =
within three (3) working days from the date of the transfer. Give this matt=
er urgent attention it demands so that you can receive Your payment within =
the time frame of the approval. You are advised to Deal directly to this de=
partment. You are advice to forward your information if any changes to make=
on this issue. Yours Faithfully, Paul Gbto. (Secretary-General) UBA BANK A=