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:
- "transferred into your bank account" (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)
- "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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "cotonou" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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 Plc <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: UBA Bank Plc <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2017 15:00:59 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Alert; Wire Transfer
Headquarters UBA House,
Carrefour des trois Banques Avenue Pape Jean Paul II, Cotonou, Benin
P.o.Box: 01 BP 2020 Cotonou Benin
Ph: +229 98 60 7320 or +229 98 290 123
Date: 09, March 2017.
This is to inform you that we received the authorisation letter & transfer Permit from the Central Bank of West Africa today concerning the release of your fund through the help of Barrister J.M.Kan Williams and UBA Bank Plc will commence your transaction tomorrow morning immediately the bank opens. Furthermore, your personal information such as your Full Name, Home Address, Cell Phone and your Valid ID Card is needed for preparation of some official documents before the transaction commence due to the huge amount involved to avoid delay during the wire transfer.
Therefore; you are advised to forward us the required materials for the wire transfer to enable us carry out our duty as all the necessary arrangement has been completed at our end. Be rest assured that once we receive the above requirement your fund worth US$4.5 Million United States Dollars will be transferred into your bank account within 24Hours.
We await your response with the required information for the wire transfer process.
Thanks for choosing UBA Bank Plc for your business.
Mr. Dan Okeke
UBA Bank Director