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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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: "United Bank for Africa" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2022 06:39:59 -0800
Subject: URGENT NOTIFICATION
Latest development, we bring to your notice:thatdue to bad network we are having here in Africa we could not be able to complete your transfer through Bank to bank transfer Or online Transfer as programmed.Our network here will not carry on the programming, so we decided to use ATM MASTER CARD method to finalize the transaction.We have programmed an ATM MASTER CARD with your name and uploaded your total fund of (US$4.5Million) in the Card so that you will be withdrawing with it in any ATM MACHINE. The ATM MASTER CARD works worldwide and the daily amount WITHDRAW according to our programming system is(US$9,000.00) Fifteen Thousand Dollars only.
I Mr.Tony Elumelu, have made the delivery arrangement with DHL DELIVERY COMPANY NIGERIA that will carry on the delivery to your home address and their director told me that Delivery of the ATM MASTER CARD to your house will be smooth with out delay.He assured me that their Company takes good 4-days to complete any delivery registered with accurate address. So you are advised to send your full address such as:
Please your urgent reply will be appreciated for immediate registering of your ATM CARD.YOUR FUND HAS BEEN CREDITED INTO ATM CARD, reply back only on this email firstname.lastname@example.org
YOUR FUND HAS BEEN CREDITED INTO ATM CARD, reply back only on this email email@example.com
United Bank of Africa (UBA-NIGERIA)