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: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 03:50:35 -0700
Subject: Re: My Notice...Code[04/2023]
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.
Mr Kingsley Uba.