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:
- "stamp duty" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "you are required to pay " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Daniel Jack" <"www."@bird.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Dr. Daniel Jack" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2017 10:08:31 +0900 (JST)
Subject: RE: YOUR FUND PAYMENT THROUGH ONLINE PAYMENT OR ATM SWIFT CAD
RE: YOUR FUND PAYMENT THROUGH ONLINE PAYMENT OR ATM SWIFT CAD
We have received an official letter regarding the Release of your Approved Fund of US$ 4.2 million Dollars part payment. To make everything fast and easy we decided to pay you through an Online Bank Account with our Bank or through our ATM Swift Card Payment System, we can also pay you by Key Tested Telex (K.T.T) Wire Transfer through Bank to Bank Account (Swift System). This is to enable you receive your Fund conveniently into any nominated Bank Account of your choice in your country. Kindly get back to me for more details through my private email address:firstname.lastname@example.org
Login details or ATM Swift Card and instructions on how to use your ATM Swift Card / access your Online Account and effect transfers to your designate Bank account by yourself will be emailed to you, you are required to provide the following information for further opening of a non-residential online account on your behalf today.
(1) Full Names:
(2) Complete Address:
(3) Passport No: or National ID Card NO.:
(4) Direct Phone Number:
(5) Contact Email Address:
(6) Preferred Currency For Account:
Note that you are required to pay ONLY $45 for Payment Claim File Legalization Stamp Duty Fee. Respond only if you are ready.
Mr. Daniel Jack
Foreign Payment Dept.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) SA