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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "card center will send you an atm card" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "million us 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)
- "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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: David Duffy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2018 11:01:15 -0700
Subject: GOOD NEWS: YOUR FUND IS NOW READY FOR RELEASE
>From the desk of David Duffy
Remittance director United Bank For Africa Plc
Head Office: 57, Marina, Lagos
This is official message from the United Bank For Africa Plc to inform
you that we have verified your contract/inheritance file and found out
why you have not received your fund is because you have not fulfilled
the obligations given to you in respect of your fund.
Secondly we have been informed that you are still dealing with the
none officials in the bank all your attempt to secure the release of
the fund to you. we wish to advice you that such an illegal act like
this have to stop if you wishes to receive your fund.
We have decided to bring a solution to your problem, right now we have
arranged your payment through our swift card payment center, this card
center will send you an ATM card which you will use to withdraw your
money in any ATM machine in any part of the world, but the maximum is
Fifteen thousand United States dollars per day, so if you like to
receive your fund this way please let us know and also send the
(1) your phone and fax number (2) address were you want us to send
the ATM card and your nearest airport, also indicate if you wish to
receive payment either by wire transfer to your account or by the ATM
The ATM card payment center has been mandated to issue out
US$10,300,000.00 million US Dollars as part payment for this fiscal
year 2018. also for your information you have to stop any further
communication with any other person(s) or office(s). this is to avoid
any hitches in finalizing the release of the fund to you. email back
as soon as you receive this important message.
Mr. David Duffy.
Director of operations
United Bank For Africa Plc