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:
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "money gram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "consignment " (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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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)
- cash processing unit united bank of africa. (u.b.a). email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Rachel Kent " <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2019 10:41:03 -0700
Subject: HELLO GOOD DAY....188.8.131.52
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA - AFRICA'S GLOBAL BANK
HEAD OFFICE ADDRESS UBA HOUSE
57 MARINA P.O. BOX 2406 LAGOS NIGERIA
PHONE: +234802 263 0701
FAX: 234 623 510 0853
We wish to inform you that we have received instruction from A.U AFRICAN UNION/ E.U /EUROPEAN UNION/I.M.F INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND to pay you the sum ofOnemillionfive hundred thousand united state dollars($1.500,000.00)through diplomatic hand delivery.
Do to global economic crises we have deducted the sum of $3,000 from your ($1.500,000.00)to take care of the expenses. Therefore the total Funds you will receive in a consignment box isOne million four hundred and ninety seven thousand united state dollars($1.497, 000.00).
We have finalized arrangements to have this delivery done with UN Courier Company,be informed that A.U have warned us to make sure that you stop further communication with other fake offices who claim that they will pay you through Western Union , Money Gram, Bank Draft/Cheque, or wire Transfer because all of them will demand for fees.
A.U members lay the instructions down to avoid any mistake, we want you to assure us that you will never communicate with those fake offices before we can proceed further, kindly reconfirm below information to ensure accurately delivery.
Country of origin:
This required information will form the basis of delivery schedule. Once we receive the information your Funds will be shipped immediately after clearance.
Because of the impostors, we hereby issue you our code of conduct which is(UB/EH/AB/PO147)so you have to indicate this code when contacting us by using it as a subject.
For more details call me on my direct phone no: +234 802 263 0801
Director cash processing unit
United bank of Africa. (U.B.A).