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:
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned 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.
- +2348058005056 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
- 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: "UBN" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 10:25:11 -0500
Subject: FROM UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC, YOUR FUND HAS BEEN APPROVED WAITING URGENT
UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC.
36 BROAD STREET, MARINA LAGOS,
NIGERIA,TELEGRAM: UNION BROAD BRANCH
BIG, STRONG, RELIABLE
UNION BANK OF NIG. PLC
BIG, STRONG AND RELIABLE.
RE: PAYMENT ON ACCRUED INTEREST OF US$3.1M
Anthony Joseph <firstname.lastname@example.org
I am REV. MARK DURU, the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR and Head of Swift Transfer Unit of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. Lagos-Nigeria Sometime ago, in our bank your contract money was brought to our bank from Nigerian Apex Bank,CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (C.B.N) and after some period, this money was taken back to the FederalGovernment treasury.
For the period of time this money was in our bank, it generated an interest of US$ 3.1 Million, which we are about to be pay to you via KTT wire transfer to your account.
For your information and advice, you need to hasten up to pick this Fund because from time to time the C.B.N auditors do come to our bank to cross-check our files and our financial update,the earlier you comply with the demands of the delivery of the fund, the faster the action,because the CBN officials wants the accrued interest to be paid to them but we refused, so when they find out that this interest fund is still in our bank they will want to call back the money to the Federal Government treasury.
What we need from you now is any form of your identification for example;your international passport or your drivers license, then your telephone and fax number for easy communication with your account details.others beneficiary who is ready to have they fund has also received today, try this time to see that you receive your fund from us .
As a matter of fact we don't have enough time to waste since we have wasted time in contacting our respective customers, so try and comply with the entire necessary requirement for remittance.
Contact me on our official telephone expecting your immediately response,
REV MARK DURU
DIRECTOR UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC