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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: UBA Bank <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2016 13:19:42 +0200
Subject: Your Payment Notification.
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA NIGERIA
HEAD OFFICE ADDRESS UBA HOUSE
57 MARINA P.O. BOX 2406 LAGOS NIGERIA
I am Mr. Tony Elumelu. The Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA). The only bank appointed by the O.A.U. Members led by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
Because of the frauds going on in West Africa countries where some innocents beneficiary were asked to pay in advance before receiving their money owed to them. The above Africa Union held meeting in Nigeria and resolve to pay all beneficiaries in cash through means of diplomatic courier service. We receive your files from international monetary fund (I.M.F.) as one of the beneficiaries.
Therefore, I want you to bear it in mind that your total fund to recieve is One Million, Five Hundred Thousands United State Dollars ($1,500,000.00)
If anybody tells you that he is paying you in bank draft or telegraphic money transfer, do not listen to him or her because due to this frauds no international bank honors our remittance instruction any more that is why we settled to pay in cash through Diplomatic Courier Service.
We also received a security report that you paid the fraudsters who have been deceiving you, telling you that they are going to send this money to you. Dear as a senior banker, controlling this cash payment now.I advise you to follow my instructions strictly and you will receive your funds in three days time.
You are advised to contact Mr David Moore for immediate processing with below info:
Director cash processing unit
United bank for Africa. (U.B.A).
PHONE: +234 809- 551 7441
Your fund will now be packed in box and take to the diplomatic courier service company for immediate shipment, He will send you more mails to give you more information for you to know the genuineness of this transaction.
He await to hear from you.
Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N
The Managing Director/ Chief Executive
United bank for Africa. (U.B.A).