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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "economic and financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "(efcc)" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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 (Outblaze.com, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: ''Mr.James Igwe'' <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2016 08:01:16 +0100
Subject: Dear Beneficiary
Address of Headquarters:UBA House, 57, Marina Lagos
Postal Address of Headquarters: P .O. Box 2406, Marina, Lagos
Telephone/Fax of Headquarters Tel:CALL UBA +234 7039235685
Fax +234 1 2644761
Good day, i am Mr. James Igwe the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, your information's and email address was forwarded to our bank by the Economic And Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) along side with the United Nation to release a total sum of 2 Million United States Dollars as a compensation for being a victim of Nigerian/ West African scam, Meanwhile, we have discus with the Chairman of the EFCC Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu and he has given us the go ahead to release your total sum within the next 8 working days, so after a board meeting held yesterday we have decided to release your fund through our international ATM CARD.
You are to get back to us with your personal details and your phone number to ensure it is same as the one forwarded to us by the EFCC office, also for your security purpose please know that most people are using the good name of our bank to defraud people so do not give response to any email without this code (ONE LOVE UBA).
United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc