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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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.Luis Fernando" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2021 08:26:04 +0200
Subject: Dear Friend,
Before I introduce myself, I wish to inform you that this letter is not a
hoax mail and I urge you to treat it serious. This letter must come to you
as a big surprise, but I believe it is only a day that people meet and
become great friends and business partners. Please I want you to read this
letter very carefully and I must apologize for barging this message into
your mail box without any formal introduction due to the urgency and
confidentiality of this business
and I know that this message will come to you as a surprise. Please this is
not a joke and I will not like you to joke with it ok, with due respect to
your person and much sincerity of purpose, I make this contact with you as
I believe that you can be of great assistance to me. My name is Mr. Luis
Fernando , from Burkina Faso, West Africa. I work in United Bank for Africa
(UBA) as telex manager, please see this as a confidential message and do
not reveal it to another person and let me know whether you can be of
assistance regarding my proposal below because it is top secret.
I am about to retire from active Banking service to start a new life but I
am skeptical to reveal this particular secret to a stranger. You must
assure me that everything will be handled confidentially because we are not
going to suffer again in life. It has been 10 years now that most of the
greedy African Politicians used our bank to launder money overseas through
the help of their Political advisers. Most of the funds which they
transferred out of the shores of Africa were gold and oil money that was
supposed to have been used to develop the continent.
Their Political advisers always inflated the amounts before transferring to
foreign accounts, so I also used the opportunity to divert part of the
funds hence I am aware that there is no official trace of how much was
transferred as all the accounts used for such transfers were being closed
after transfer. I acted as the Bank Officer to most of the politicians and
when I discovered that they were using me to succeed in their greedy act; I
also cleaned some of their banking records from the Bank files and no one
cared to ask me because the money was too much for them to control. They
laundered over $5billion Dollars during the process.
Before I send this message to you, I have already diverted ($10. 5 million
Dollars) to an escrow account belonging to no one in the bank. The bank is
anxious now to know who the beneficiary to the funds is because they have
made a lot of profits with the funds. It is more than Eight years now and
most of the politicians are no longer using our bank to transfer funds
overseas. The ($ 10.5million Dollars) has been laying waste in our bank and
I donât want to retire from the bank without transferring the funds to a
foreign account to enable me share the proceeds with the receiver (a
foreigner). The money will be shared 60% for me and 40% for you. There is
no one coming to ask you about the funds because I secured everything. I
only want you to assist me by providing a reliable bank account where the
funds can be transferred.
You are not to face any difficulties or legal implications as I am going to
handle the transfer personally. If you are capable of receiving the funds,
do let me know immediately to enable me give you a detailed information on
what to do. For me, I have not stolen the money from anyone because the
other people that took the whole money did not face any problems. This is
my chance to grab my own life opportunity but you must keep the details of
the funds secret to
avoid any leakages as no one in the bank knows about my plans. Please get
back to me if you are interested and capable to handle this project, I
shall intimate you on what to do when I hear from your confirmation and
acceptance. If you are capable of being my trusted associate, do declare
your consent to me I am looking forward to hear Email Address
Thanks with my best regards.
United Bank for Africa (U B A)
Mr. Luis Fernando