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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2021 07:30:25 -0700
Subject: RE: $5.5Million, ATM Card Payment
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA (UBA)
#653 Gana Fasola Street, Victoria Island,
RE: $5.5Million, ATM Master Card Payment
I am Mr PETER AMAIBE, the director, ATM Head of Operations UNITED BANK
FOR AFRICA,I resumed to this office on the 6th of January 2021 and
during an official routine check on files, I discovered a hidden ATM
Master card valued $5.5Million belonging to you as the supposed
I queried to know why the card has not been delivered to you and I was
rightly informed by the management staff that my predecessor deliberately withheld the atm card for his own personal gain without
knowing that his evil plans to divert your fund will be thwarted by
his unannounced removal from office for corruption.
Now that your ATM Master card is still intact and available for your
receipt, I therefore advise you to come down here to my office in
person to pick up your atm card direct from my office and sign the
legal papers to proof or alternatively request for a courier delivery
service if you cannot be able to come in person for any reason and it
shall be arranged and shipped to your address through a registered
courier service company that is attached to our bank. You will only
take care of the shipment handling charge, hope it is cleared and
acceptable by you?
I don't know the exact courier cost of shipping the card to your
destination but if you permit me and accept the terms, then I can make
inquiry from the courier company to find out the exact cost to your
destination. But before then, you are required to reaffirm your
receiving details where you want to receive the package to enable me
certify the exact shipping cost.
Your direct telephone number (Mobile) will be needed to enhance effective communication and for more details of the ATM card until you
receive it at your destination. I await your swift positive response.
Meanwhile, available information from registered envelope packages of
ATM cards and legal tender document deliveries reaching me from the
courier service company Manager shows that their charges is not usually more than $250.00 depending on country/state of recipient destination so if you are not ready or interested to pay the fee Please do not bother to respond so we can officially confiscate the atm card and close the card account indefinitely as belonging to a ghost beneficiary and or for improper clam.
Thanks for your understanding and anticipated co-operation as i wait for your conclusive response to expedite action accordingly. Best luck and do stay safe.
Mr. PETER AMAIBE
Director ATM Department,
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA (UBA)