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:
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: Alhaji Kuta Umar <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2019 23:27:59 +0100
Subject: Confirm Your Claim (Fund Approved)
This notification message is from the United Bank For Africa (UBA),Your name (Name withheld) is enlisted among the beneficiary whose fund was approved for payment by the Board and Governors of United Bank For Africa (UBA), and we have been waiting for you to contact us for your claim of $8.5 Million dollar. To our surprise, one Mrs. Bernadette Drey came forward for the funds with account details; Bank of America ,Checking Account: 374000709309, Routing Number: 026009593 , Swift code: BOFAUS3N, that you asked her to claim the fund on your behalf, she presented some documentary evidence which we are not sure of it source,this is why we decided to contact you to confirm to us if you actually sent her (Mrs Bernadette Drey) to claim your funds. Because this fund was processed by the CEO of United Bank For Africa Plc in 2015 by Mr Adesola Yomi-Ajayi before he resigned.
Most importantly, confirm to me urgently if you gave permission to Mrs Bernadette Drey to claim your funds? Should in case you did not authorize her, then you will have to stop every communication with impersonators and their cohorts, because they are trying to divert your fund to themselves. She tried so hard to change the fund ownership to her name but permission is not granted until we hear from you.
I await your prompt response, so that you can open an account with us to enable credit your new account and the ATM attached to your account could be released and sent to you, awaiting your prompt response.
Alhaji Kuta Umar,
Ex DG Federal Reserve System