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:
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "cost of transfer" (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. )
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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.
Fraud email example:
From: UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:55:28 +0100
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT UPDATE
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC.
HEAD OFFICE: U. B. A. HOUSE,
57, MARINA STREET, VICTORIA ISLAND
P. O. BOX 2406, LAGOS- NIGERIA.
MR. PHILLIPS ODUOZA
THE GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR/CEO
OFFICE LINE: +2347046055953
DIRECT LINE: +2347010949993
FAX LINE: +234 12270491
REF: UBA/222/XCC/MOFFICE/2014 ISIN CODE : NGUBA0000001; Legal Form: Other non-liability limited; Operational Status: Operational; OUR SWIFT CODE: UNAFNGLA
Dear Esteemed Customer,
Be informed that, the Management of our Bank on receipt of your US$10.5Million payment approval from the Central bank for the release of your out standing payment has set up a none resident US dollar U-Direct account in your name.
This U-Direct account will enable you to access the account, transfer your funds by yourself through the UBA Inter-Switch Transfer platform electronically gradually and unconditionally at zero COT to any Bank account of your choice at any time or to your personal ATM Debit, Master or Visa card through our website: https://www.ubadirect.com with the information below:
Account Number/Corp. ID: 2012301293
User ID: UBA234766876
This account will be activated as soon as you certify the stipulated requirements of ou bank which include tendering the following documents viz:
Alternatively, are you willing and ready to accept the transfer from Bank of America? Are you willing and ready to settle the Cost of transfer of your funds or secure a permission for Bank of America to deduct the Cost of Transfer of your funds from the Principal amount since we are prohibited by the National Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC) with the Insurance Policy Bond covering this fund from deducting any money from your funds.
Our Bank has concluded arrangements to transfer your funds electronically by Society for Worldwide Inter-bank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT transfer) via our corresponding bank: Bank of America (BoA) at #350 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, United States of America.
The SWIFT remittance will be effected with Diplomatic Immunity Seal of Transfer (DIST) certifying the funds to be genuine, none fraudulent and not for the sponsorship of terrorism in the World.
Your prompt compliance to our Bank's stipulated policy which is inline with the International Banking transactions standard policy will enable us conclude the processing of your payment or your account activated and validated will be updated so that you will have access to carry out any transactions and transfers to your designated bank account.
If you want to be sure of whom I am or to know more about me, Phillips Oduoza, log on to our bank's website viz: http://www.ubagroup.com/mc/bios, click on Phillips Oduoza Or click directly to:
Mr. Phillips Oduoza (CEO)
Group Managing Director/Executive Director,
Member of Board Risk Committee,
Member of Finance & General Purpose Committee
United Bank for Africa Plc.