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:
- "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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Kristalina Georgieva <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2022 11:06:20 +0000
Subject: Claim your ATM card of 1.5 million
Dear Email Owner / Recipient,
We sent you this letter previously without hearing from you, I'm not
sure you got it, and that's why I repeat.Firstly,
My name is Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Chairman. You abandoned your
One Million five hundred thousand United State dollars with united
bank of african. What is the reason, who is trying to deceive you?
Because this is the only authorized bank with Mr. emeka chris as the
Approved agent. If you refuse to contact Mr. emeka chris, the IMF will
not allow you to receive payment and you will continue to work with
wrong people all the days of your life with no good news. Your money
still remains with UBA in Togo and you must contact Mr. emeka chris if
you care about IMF signature and approval.
Approved Agent: Mr. emeka chris
Bank name: united bank of african
Bank site: https://www.ubagroup.com/
tel: +228 93983877
This is the approved bank from the United Nations, IMF, World Bank and
ECOWAS and without this mentioned bank none of this entire agent will
support you or approve payment for you.
Kindly contact the bank now and receive your ATM card valued 1.5
million dollars from them without Delay.