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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "United Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2019 12:28:11 -0700
Subject: Your Abandoned Payment
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR APPROVED PAYMENT
FILE APPROVED NO: UNBK/FMF11/AHD9US/2019
SUBJECT: RE-APPROVAL OF YOUR ABANDONED FUND IN TOTAL SUM OF US$15MILLION.
My Name Is Mr. Jerry E. Murray, I am the payment officer in charge of your funds here in United Bank . On assumption, I saw a file in respect of your Fund amounting the sum of US$15 Million United Stated Dollars. After going through the file i discovered that you abandoned your fund here in the process of transfer to your bank account due to demands from banks and other financial institution here. I write to know the reason why you choose to abandon your fund here because it is my first point of action to offset every payment that is pending in the United Bank transfer statutory disc.
I assure you that the United Bank and the U.S Government will look into your matter properly and process your fund transfer to you as soon as you indicate your interest in receiving your approved fund.
Get back to us immediately so that I can know how to look into your matter urgently and make sure you receive your fund immediately without any delay.
Mr. Jerry Murray
Statement of Confidentiality/Privacy: the information in this email and in any attachment contains confidential information and is intended solely for the attention and use of the named addressee(s). It may not be disclosed to any person without authorization. If you are not the intended recipient, or a person responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient you are not authorized to and must not disclose, copy, distribute or retain this message or any part of it.