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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Kingsley Uba <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2023 05:47:52 -0700
Subject: Re: My Notice..Code[04/2023]
*Dear Sir/Madam,My name is Mr Kingsley Uba. I work with the First City
Monument Bank, (FCMB) here in Nigeria. Due to the ongoing general
elections in my country, some politicians took that opportunity to loot
money. Nigeria is also undergoing a cashless form of payment. In my bank,
there is this sum of USD$18.2M belonging to one of the renowned
politicians. This said sum is in my own care and unfortunately, this
politician that owns this amount of money that is in my position was
assassinated by the opponent from another party. So I am the only person
who knows about this money. I am looking for a trustworthy foreigner who
can be able to deposit this said sum in his or her own bank account pending
when I will be chanced to come over to claim it.If you are interested in
receiving this money, you should go ahead to confirm your full information
to me such as your full names, address, phone and any of your
identification. On confirmation of your full information I will be able to
discuss your own percentage and what will be mine own percentage which you
will have to keep for me in your own account till I come over to invest
with it.It is also important you call me on the phone for further
directives.I wait to hear from you before we proceed further.Best
Regards,Mr Kingsley Uba.Email:(email@example.com