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:
- 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:
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- 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: "FROM UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2019 18:20:03 +0100
Subject: ATTENTION : ACCOUNT OWNER,
DIRECTOR DEPARTMENT UBA BANK
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BENIN WEST AFRICA.
OUR REF:U.B./MF/B01/Vol 01
ATTENTION : ACCOUNT OWNER,
MY NAME IS , MR.JOHN, FROM UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA FOREIGN TRANSFER OFFICE, I AM HEREBY TO INFORM YOU THAT UBA BANK BENIN REPUBLIC
HAVE BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT YOUR PAYMENT OF $10,5MILLION USD THROUGH ATM VISA CARD. YOU ARE ADVISED TO STOP FURTHER
COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER PERSON(S) OR OFFICE(S) TO AVOID MADE A MISTAKE IN RECEIVING YOUR ATM VISA CARD.
UBA BANK PLC. MANAGER HAVE CONFIRMED AUTOMATION OF YOUR SWIFT PAYMENT THROUGH AN ELECTRONIC PAYMENT. THE BANK HAVE
ARRANGED YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH ELECTRONIC PAYMENT CENTER ASIA PACIFIC THIS ENTER WILL SEND YOU AN ATM VISA CARD WHICH
YOU WILL USE TO WITHDRAW YOUR MONEY IN ANY ATM MACHINE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD . THE MAXIMUM DAILY WITHDRAWAL IS $21,000
US DOLLARS PER DAY. YOUR TOTAL FUND IN THE CARD IS $10,5MILLION USD . NOW YOU ARE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR FUND BY CONTACTING
THE BANK TODAY. THIS IS A SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT IN COLLABORATION WITH MASTER CARD COMPANY USA.
SEND THEM THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION OF YOURS FOR THE CONCLUSION OF THE DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM CARD:
(1). YOUR FULL NAME,
(2). YOUR COUNTRY,
(3). YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBERS,
(4). MOBILE PHONE NUMBER,
(5). YOUR CORRECT HOME ADDRESS,
(6). YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION,
(7). YOUR AGE,
(8). YOUR NEXT OF KIN NAME AND EMAIL,
FOREIGN PAYMENT DEPARTMENT
UBA BANK BENIN REPUBLIC
OFFICE TELEPHONE : ( +229 98243164)
NOTE THAT BECAUSE OF IMPOSTORS THE (UBA BANK) ARE HEREBY ISSUED YOU OUR CODE OF CONDUCT WHICH IS ATM-0202 SO YOU HAVE
TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN CONTACTING ON THE CARD CENTER BY USING IT AS YOUR SUBJECT. KINDLY NOTIFY (UNITED BANK FOR AFRICAN )
IMMEDIATELY TO CONFIRM THE RECEIPT OF THIS MESSAGE FROM THE UNITED BANK FOR AFRICAN
HEAD OF ATM DEPT
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICAN