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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "foreign remittance manager" (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)
- ",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)
- "abuja" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Fred Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:35:58 -0600
Subject: Fund Update :23/02/2017
United Bank For Africa (UBA)
From the Desk of:
(Foreign Remittance Manager)
Plot 487, Abogo Largema Street,
Off Constitution Avenue,
Central Business District, Abuja-Nigeria
Attn: Good Friend,
Happy new year, and how is your health today?
We have been contacted by MR.ANDY MERCHANT in which he has informed us about your illness and the instruction you gave to him to act on your behalf as regards to the claims of your part payment USD10,500,000.00.It is in this respect that we decided to contact you first to find out if you are actually in the hospital and to verify if his claims that you have authorized him to receive the fund on your behalf is true as we dont want to conclude on hearing from him alone.Well in this respect, if you are out of hospital, it is very important that you contact us to confirm that you have authorized him to claim the fund on your behalf.
Below are the Bank information(s) that he has sent to us for the purpose of wiring the fund to him, thus:-
BANK NAME: CITIZENS STATE BANK
BANK ADDRESS: CEDAR AVENUE, SOUTH PITTSBURG TENNESSEEE 37380 USA
A/C NO: 57011457
A/C NAME: ANDY C MERCHANT
ROUTIING NO: 064101660
If we dont hear from you within the next seven working days, we will not have any other option than to proceed with his payment request as he is not aware that we have already contacted you now for this confirmation Below is the Registration Informations of your Fund as evidence of receiving email from us as a beneficiary to this your fund.FUND AWARD REFERENCE CODE: UNAP 000EUS, REGISTERED TAG: UBAZEFCB11118, SECURITY CODE: SCFGN/2016/90XX/,
TRANSACTION CODE 5563/TCFGN/8863/70253
As soon as you establish contact with this office, ensure that you provide a reconfirmation of your present details as below via my Office to effect the change and Re-process your fund release to you.
Meanwhile, the United Bank For Africa (UBA) is to officially inform you that NB: if by any reason you have lost memory of this or you have not done such transaction before, kindly contact me.That means your name was used by old staff and their foreign partners to drain off money for their personal use but could not conclude it in time before leaving office; we have had such cases, I will give you details and we work together to secure the fund for our mutual and personal use, it will be a great opportunity.
(Foreign Remittance Manager)