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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 state 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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "lagos" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Francisca Obiora" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 13:16:58 -0400
Subject: YOUR ONLINE BANKING ACCOUNT HAS BEEN CREDITED IN YOUR FAVOR
United Bank For Africa Nigeria Plc,
UBA House, 57 Marina, P.O. Box 2406,
Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria.
Working Hours (Weekdays)
( email@example.com )
Notification from United Bank For Africa (UBA)
I'm writing to inform you that the Federal Government of Nigeria is keen and very determined to pay your overdue scam victim compensation fund, I would not want you to loose this fund out of ignorance, The Federal Government of Nigeria has deposit your Compensation fund US$1.5 Million United State Dollars with United Bank For Africa Nigeria. The government had a clear mandate to open an online account in your name with the bank and set up an online account that you will use to transfer your fund to any bank account of your choice worldwide.
However, the government deposited your compensation funds to United Bank For Africa Nigeria Plc. This bank has finally opened an online account in your name and your compensation fund US$1.5 Million USD has been transferred to the online account that our bank open in your favor, We want you to reconfirm your particulars/Information with this humble bank for further confirmation and verification of these fund in our possession so that you will have access to your online account with United Bank For Africa Nigeria.
Closure/Transfer of Escrow/Sundry Account #: 3079965739
I Mr/Mrs.............. write to apply to your Esteemed bank for the Closure of Escrow Sundry Account #: 3079965739 and Transfer of its proceeds US$1.5 Million USD.
Present contact address as follows:
Date of Birth:
We need your cooperation as we would not be held liable for the confiscation of your funds if you do not follow the directives of an immediate remittance on before the deadline as stated above.
When we acknowledge your application, We will send your online account details, You will login to your online account and proceed with your fund transfer to any bank account of your choice worldwide.
Thank you and remain bless.
Miss, Francisca Obiora
Foreign Operation Manager &
Fund Transfer Director.
United Bank For Africa
Phone number: +234-818-426-0789