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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR MICHEAL KENNEDY" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2018 04:49:07 -0800
Subject: (COMPASSION FUND OF $5.5 MILLIONS DOLLARS)
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA NIGERIA HOFFICE ADDRESS UBA HOUSE 57 MARINA P.O. BOX=
2406 LAGOS NIGERIA PHONE +234 8024175283
I must say that I have enormous respect for you considering the manner in =
which I have made contact with you. =
I sincerely apologize for sending you this sensitive information via e-ma=
il instead of a certified mail, phone call or a face-to-face conversation,=
it is due to the urgency and importance of the security information involv=
Am Mr. Micheal Kennedy, Director Cash Processing Unit (C.P.U), United Bank=
for Africa ,The International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) in conjunction with O=
rganization of African Unity (O.A.U) has directed us to pay you FIVE MILLIO=
N FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ($5.500, 000.00) in Cash thro=
ugh means of diplomatic courier service hand delivery. Take Note: Three tho=
usand united states dollars (us $3,000) have been mapped out for all expens=
es, Therefore, do forward your home address and Direct phone number, to =
this email: email@example.com =
for more details please call phone number +234 8024175283 =
MR MICHEAL KENNEDY Director Cash Processing Unit (C.P.U) United Bank for A=
United Bank for Africa the African Leading Bank =
This transmission may contain information that is privileged,
confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law.If you
are not the intended recipient,you are hereby notified that any
disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the information contained
herein (including any reliance thereon) is STRICTLY PROHIBITED, if you
received this transmission in error, please immediately contact the
sender and destroy the material in its entirely, whether is electronic
or hard copy format. Thank you.
United Bank For Africa. Management.