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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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: "Mr.EMEKA CHUKS "<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 01 May 2020 11:08:41 -0700
Subject: WE DISCOVERD YOUR ABANDONED FUND 18.104.22.168
FROM THE DESK OF EMEKA CHUKS
UNION BANK NIGERIA PLC.
WE DISCOVERD YOUR ABANDONED FUND
I AM MR EMEKA CHUKS, THE MANAGER, FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT OF THE UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC. WE DISCOVERED THE SUM OF $ 15,000,000.00 (FIFTEEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY) BELONG TO YOU WHICH WAS INSTRUCTED TO SEIZED BY FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE AND PAID TO THE FEDERAL TREASURE ON NEXT 14 BANK WORKING DAYS.
WHEN I GO THROUGH YOUR TRANSFER FILE, I FOUND OUT THAT YOUR FUND IS STILL INTACT AND READY TO REMIT INTO YOUR ACCOUNT ONCE YOU PROVIDE TO THIS BANK A LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION FROM COURT IN NIGERIA AND A SCAN COPY OF EITHER YOUR DRIVER LICENSE OF INTERNATIONAL FOR IDENTIFICATION.
WHY I CONTACTED YOU IS THAT I HAVE MADE UP MY MIND TO HELP YOU AND MAKE SURE THAT THIS FUND WILL GET INTO YOUR ACCOUNT WITHOUT ANY DELAY SINCE THIS IS ONLY REQUIREMENT TO GET THIS FUND INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.
I WANT TO STAND FOR YOU AS YOUR REPRESENT ATIVE TO FOLLOW IT UP UNTIL IT GETS TO YOUR ACCOUNT. I WILL PROCEED TO COURT FOR THE LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION AS SOON AS YOU SEND THE FOLLOWING:
1. YOUR FULL NAME AND ADDRESS:
2. YOUR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
3. YOUR BANK NAME AND ADDRESS:
4.THE ACCOUNT INFORMATION WHERE YOU WANT THE FUND TO TRANSFER INTO:
5. YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION:
6.A COPY OF YOUR INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT / DRIVER LICENSE.
NOTE THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS GIVE A DEADLINE OF 14 BANK WORKING DAYS FOR ALL THE FOREIGN CUSTOMERS TO CONCLUDE THERE TRANSACTION WITH THIS BANK, OTHERWISE THE FUND WILL BE RETURNED TO THE FEDERAL TREASURY AS UNCLAIMED FUND. FOR MORE EXPLANATION,
NOTE ALSO, THIS TRANSACTION MUST BE KEPT STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL BECAUSE OF IT'S NATURE.
I look forward to RECEIVING YOUR PROMPT RESPONSE: email@example.com
MR EMEKA CHUKS.