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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "Robert Senior" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2017 23:53:04 -0000
Subject: IMMEDIATE PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
I know that this letter will be a surprising one to you. Firstly, I will like to introduce my self formally as Dr. Robert Senior, Director United Bank For Africa (UBA) Republic Of Nigeria. You are been officially contacted by me today because your Outstanding payment were Re-deposited into the "Federal Suspense Account" of United Bank For Africa last week, because you did not forward your Claim as the Right beneficiary Well known to all.
Please re-confirm and answer the above questions because Mr. Thomas Mick came to our foreign payment department and submitted an application that you authorized your fund to be paid into the account of Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) with Account number UBS-A943BDG99 with a report that you are now paralyzed as a result of the ghastly motor accident you had some months back.
(1) Did you at any time delegate any body not even from your family to claim your fund on your behalf?
(2) Were you involved in a motor accident?
(3) Are you aware or related to one Mr. Thomas Mick from your country?
After processing the application of Mr Thomas Mick himself which he made known to us that he came from you, he succeeded in getting some required documents as to make sure that we effect this transfer as quickly as possible.
Really this man were unexpected by me because His visit was impromptu. I had to ask him why he came to see me in person and he said that he was here to Collect the Inheritance Bill Sum of (US$6,500,000) which rightfully belongs to you on your behalf.
At this development I asked him who authorized him to come down to Republic Of Nigeria for the Collection of this Payment and he told me that you asked him to come and collect this Funds on your Behalf. In fact this was the biggest shock that this Bank have ever received so far because your Inheritance Funds is still in the "Federal Suspense Account" of United Bank For Africa, yet you sent this man to come and collect this Funds on your behalf without notifying us.
We in this Bank do not understand why you sent this man to come and Collect your Funds on your behalf. If actually you want him to help you to collect your Inheritance Bill Sum, at least you should have informed me as the Executive Director of this Bank. He actually tendered some Vital Documents which Proved that you actually sent him for the Collection of this Funds. Honestly, it really baffles me that you took such decision without my consent.
Actually, these Documents which he tendered to this Noble Bank is a clear Proof that you sent him to Collect this Funds for you. Finally, I told him to come back next week and he promised to come back. As the Director of this Noble Bank, I was supposed to Release this Funds to him but I refused to do so because I want to hear from you first. Due to the Nature of my job, I will not want to make any mistake in Releasing this Funds to anyone except you whom is the Recognized Bona fide Beneficiary to this Funds.
Kindly clarify to me on this issue before we make this Payment to this foreigners whom came on your behalf. In receipt of this confidential Letter, If actually you want to receive this fund from the bank, I will use my position to assist you to make sure you receive this fund without any hitch, also to facilitate this transaction on your behalf, You are required to get back to me immediately you receive this Confidential Letter through the below information:
Your Full Name /Your Address/ Your Mobile Phone Number/ Sex/ Your Age and your
As soon as I receive your response as I said, I will use my position to release your fund to you without much delay. I will be waiting to receive your response as we proceed. Thanks for your good understanding.
Dr. Robert Senior
United Bank For Africa