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:
- "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. )
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: UBA Management <WWW.@dance.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: UBA Management <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2019 09:41:33 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,
Having reviewed all the obstacles and problems surrounding the
transfer of your USD$7.5 Million Dollars and your inability to meet up
with some charges levied against you due to the past transfer options.
We the Board of Directors, United Bank For Africa (UBA) has ordered
our Foreign Payment Remittance Unit to issue you a CORPORATE VISA CARD
where your payment will be uploaded and today we got notice that your
Payment has been uploaded into this CORPORATE ATM CARD and also have
registered it with DHL for delivery to you.
For your information, The delivery charges has been paid and they were
supposed to have shipped your packaged ATM CARD but they insisted that
you must re-confirm to them your current delivery address to ensure
MOST IMPORTANT: Due to the content of the package, DHL mandated that
before your package will be shipped, A Tax/Stamp Duty MUST be procured
according to the New Customs Creed, and the essence of such Document
is to ensure a hitch-free delivery.
Therefore re-confirm your current delivery address:
1. Full Names.
2. Delivery Address.
3. Telephone Number.
4. Your country.
5. Your city.
6. Your Occupation.
7. Your Age.
8. Your ID card or passport copy.
For more inquiries/confirmation, please contact DHL Agent Number +1 712-227-6090
Mr. Paul Walter
UBA Credit Management
Tele:00221 778 831 419