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"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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "bank charges " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: union bank <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 08:12:50 +0000
Subject: URGENT CONFIRMATION
>From the Desk Of:
MR B B EBONG
MANAGING DIRECTOR (UBN)
Our Ref: UBN/FCU/CBX/021/06
This is to draw your attention that your fund is still
lying suspense in our bank here in Nigeria
which federal ministry of finance Authorized us to effect
payment on their behalf is now ready for payment,the
only problem now is that we dictated a lot of
irregularities involvements attached to your payment
(1) Did you at any time delegate any body not even
from your family to claim your fund on your behalf?
(2) Were you involved in a motor accident?
(3) Are you aware or related to one Mr. THOMAS BAKER
from your country?
Please reconfirm and answer the above questions because
one Mr. Thomas Baker came to our foreign payment
department and submitted an application that you
Authorized your fund to be paid into the account of
UNION Bank OF Switzerland (UBS) with Account number UBS-A943BDG99.then the account
you earlier submitted for your payment with a report
that you are now paralyzed as a result of the ghastly
motor accident you had last month.
lnfact, after processing the application by Mr. Thomas
Baker himself which he made known to us that he came
from you, he succeeded in paying part of the bank charges
that you are supposed to pay so as to make sure that
we effect this transfer payment as quickly as possible
without any further delay.
The delay in the transfer is from us now just because
we requested for a power of attorney from him, which
is authorizing him to pursue this payment. He asked
for a week so as to submit the documents but up till
now we have not received any of the documents from any
of you. Why? So please forward us the power of
attorney by a return fax or by E-mail or by phone call
so that we can effect the transfer to the new
account submitted without delay.
Thanks for your co-operation
MR B B EBONG
MD UNION BANK NIG PLC
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