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:
- 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:
- "lagos" (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.PETER WESTSIDE"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2019 12:25:05 -0800
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA - AFRICA'S GLOBAL BANK
HEAD OFFICE ADDRESS UBA HOUSE
57 MARINA P.O. BOX 2406 LAGOS NIGERIA
FAX: 234 674 478 8273
I Am Mr. PETER WESTSIDE, the director cash processing united bank for Afri=
can the international monetary fund (I.M.F.) in conjunction with Organizati=
on of African Unity (O.A.U) is compensating all the scam victims with $5.50=
and your email address was found in the scam victim's, the united bank for=
African and Federal Reserve Bank has been mandated by the (I.M.F) to pay y=
our compensation ($5.500, 000.00USD) in cash through means of diplomatic co=
urier service hand delivery, =
Take note that Three thousand united states dollars (usd$3,000) have been =
mapped out for all expenses in taxes and other documents that matters. Ther=
efore, do forward your home address, direct phone number to this email,pete=
email@example.com, Please reply/direct to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org=
Mr PETER WESTSIDE
Director cash processing =
united bank for Africa. (U.B.A).