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:
- 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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cotonou" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Kennedy Uzoka" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2021 01:10:06 +0100
Subject: UBA BANK INVESTION funds UPDATE.
United Bank For Africa
Address: Avenue Jean-Paul Ii-08 Bp 0879-Cotonou-BÃ©nin
We were authorized by the President,Republic of Benin and the Governing
Board of Central Bank to investigate the unnecessary delay of your
payment,to also recommend and approve your claims for
payment if the report of the unclaimed contract/inheritance funds is
genuine. However, we discovered that your funds has been unnecessarily
delayed by corrupt officials of some banks.
We have agreed with the authority that we will handle this payment
ourselves to avoid the hopeless situation created by those officials.
Currently your Inheritance/Contract fund of $28,5Million has
been credited in ATM card.Contact us with your details including phone
lines for immediate delivery.
So if you like to receive your funds through this means youâre advised
to contact us with the following information as stated below:
1. Your Full Name:
2. Address Where You Want the Courier Company to Send Your ATM Card To
or (P.O Box)
3. Your Age:.
5. Cell/Mobile Number:
I await your urgent response to this message.
Mr. Kennedy Uzoka,UBA Plc.