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:
- "account opening" (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. )
- "account opening form" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: North Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: North Williams <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2018 09:33:23 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention Beneficiary!
UBA BANK GROUP BENIN REPUBLIC.
CONTACT PERSON: MR. FEMI FASHOLA.
Director/ Foreign Affairs Ops Dept.
ONLINE BANK WIRE TRANSFER
The Remittance of Your Fund $35.5Million To Your Personal Bank Account: I
believe you are alive and doing well to be reading this important and urgent
E-mail from the sub-regional office of the African Bank Group of Benin, I am
writing you this mail with urgent concern to officially inform you that our
GPS Network Server System (GPS NSS) recently detected an unknown Fund
Transfer Payment File system
(FTP File) valued at $35.5million, after our investigation on the FTP file
we discovered your name and data information on the file confirming you as
the Payment Receiver so we presented the FTP file to the World Bank
Department of Europe sub-region, so therefore we have now been authorized to
wire this fund directly to your Personal Bank Account because your Fund
Transfer Payment file was officially
cleared with a Bill of Clean Sheet as your name and data information was
clearly verified on the FTP file that was detected by our GPS NSS.We also
wish to inform you that a Domiciliary Account must be opened for you here in
this bank where your fund must be lodged in before it is properly
processed for our Online Bank Transfer, so you are also requested to fill
out the Account Opening Form as requested bellow,REQUESTED INFORMATION FOR
NEW ACCOUNT (Non residential account)
Your First Name:
Your Middle Name:
Your Last Name:
Date of Birth:
Next of Kin:
Below is Their Contact address and E-mail:
Chose option: Online transfer, ATM master card
Uba African Bank Plc
Director Mr. Femi Fashola
Benin. West Africa States.
Finally, do bear in mind that once we confirm the requested information
above from you we shall effect your Fund Transfer within 24hrs immediately.
If you have any question or inquiry please feel free to call us, Thank you
for your understanding as
we hope to hear from you soon.
Regional pay out Manage
Uba Bank Group Online Services