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:
- 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:
- "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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: "Mr. Uzoka" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2019 08:40:11 +0100
Subject: YOUR COMPENSATION SETTLEMENT OF ESCROW ACCOUNTS $3.5 MILLION DOLLARS
Welcome to UBA Benin Carrefour 20 wuade,
Avenue Jean Paul II 01 BP 2020 Cotonou
Swift: COBBJBJ CONTÂBK CTNOU
E- mail: Mr. Kennedy Uzoka
YOUR COMPENSATION SETTLEMENT OF ESCROW ACCOUNTS $3.5 MILLION DOLLARS
Attn: Fund Beneficiary
This is the 3nd time i am sending you this notification letter regarding your abandoned ATM Visa Card valued sum of US$3.5 Millions and i have not received any positive respond from you or asking a suggestion on how you wish to receive your Atm Visa Card. Once again;
I am Mr. Kennedy Uzoka , the new director of ATM Head of Operation United Bank For Africa PLC, I resumed to this office on the 2nd of November 2018 and during my official research I discovered an abandoned ATM Visa card valued sum of $3.5 Million belonging to you as the rightfully intimate beneficiary.
I tried to know why this Card has not been released to you but I was told by the UBA Bank management that the former director of ATM head of operation that left this office three months ago withhold your Card for his own personal use without knowing that his evil plans towards diverting your fund will be discovered.
Now that your ATM Visa Card is still available and ready for your receiving, you can come down here to our Bank to pick up your Card direct from my office or alternatively it can be arranged ship to your home address through any registered reliable Courier Service Company
that you will take care of the Courier Charge,hope it is cleared and accepted by you?
I donât know the Courier Cost of Shipping the Card to you but if you permit me and accept the terms, then I can make an inquiry from the Courier Shipping Company to find out the cost, but in that case you will be required to forward to me your address where you want to
receive the Card to enable me find out the shipping cost to your location such as,
1, Your full name and address:---
2, Your direct phone number for easy communication:----------
3, Identification card or passport:-----
4, Your Occupation:------------
5, Nearest airport : ------------
Your direct telephone number and address will be needed and more details of your ATM Card payment will be made known to you as soon as I receive your swift positive response.
Contact me on this below email address;
E-mail address:=== ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Contact person:=== Mr. Kennedy Uzoka
Thanks for your co-operation and i wait for your kind positive respond.
Mr. Kennedy Uzoka
UBA Bank Management