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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Mark Thomas" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2021 21:16:33 +0100
Subject: Kindly Contact United Bank For Africa Immediately
Kindly Contact United Bank For Africa Immediately
Dear Fund Beneficiary;
We wish to inform you that our management has approved the settlement
of your transaction through our United Bank For Africa, final approval
and a priority payment instruction has been issued to our
corresponding Bank, the United Bank For Africa to transfer your funds
to any of your designated Bank account through their Online Transfer
Platform, the management has signed off the total sum of
$10,500,000.00 (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars) Only, on your behalf, therefore you are advised to urgently
contact the United Bank For Africa as payment directive has been
issued and communicated with them in your favor.
We have forwarded your payment file to United Bank For Africa and
informed the Manager about the arrangement so get in touch with him to
assist you in getting the transfer done this week and with his
directives, the Transfer will be confirmed in your nominated account
within 24 hours.
Contact United Bank For Africa Immediately
Mr. Kennedy Uzoka
Manager, Foreign Operation
Be advised to STOP all further communications with all and keep this
communication confidential to avoid interception of online information
that might lead to false claim or loss of any part of your Fund.
we sincerely apologize for any difficulties caused. Keep me updated
if you find it needful.
Mr. Mark Thomas