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:
- "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)
- "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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:21:37 +0100
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT ALERT
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,
You have been informed that, the access/log in to the none resident US dollar U-Direct Lion the Prime account set up in your name is through the U-Direct website: https://www.ubadirect.com with the information below:
ACCOUNT NUMBER/CORP. ID: 2012301293
USER ID: UBA234766876
You are the one delaying the activation of the U-Direct (online account) our bank set up in your name for you to transfer your funds gradually to your designated bank account.
We are not asking you to pay us any money upfront rather forward the three documents demanded if you want this U-Direct Lion the Prime account activated.
Before we finalize the activation of the above account for you to have access to it and to transfer your funds gradually as the true beneficiary of this approved payment, forward the following documents viz:
1. Your Payment Clean Bill Certificate (CBC)
2. Your Currently paid Utility bill
3. Copy of your Identification.
Alternatively, meet me on Monday, the 3rd of November, 2014 at the New York United States of America branch office of the United Bank for Africa Plc with these documents for the SWIFT transfer of your funds to your vdesignated account.
Maybe you want to be sure of whom I am or to know more about me log on to our bank's website viz: http://www.ubagroup.com/mc/bios, click on Phillips Oduoza Or click directly to: http://www.ubagroup.com/mc/bio?id=20120904032833dky9zr9pp7
Thanks and Yours sincerely,
Mr. Phillips Oduoza (CEO)
Group Managing Director/Executive Director
Direct Tel.: +2347010949993