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:
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "cotonou" (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.
- 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: "Ms. Linda Mark" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2021 12:01:04 +0200
Subject: Re: Re: $1,200,000.00 U.S. Dollars
United Bank for Africa (UBA)
C/505, Cocotomey, Cotonou,
Phone: +229 6524124
Phone: +229 6524123
Fax: +229 652412422
Web site: www.ubagroup.com
Date: .... 10-08-2021
Your Payment Release Update
Value: $ 1,200,000.00 USD.
Issue of bank transfer
With due respect, I am Ms. Linda Mark, secretary to Mr. Leon Pierre.
(Director Head Of Electronic Transfer) at the United Bank for Africa (UBA).
Sequel to the directive received from the United Nations (UN) office in charge of Covid-19 Relief Funds for Mitigation on Coronavirus Pandemic, we are authorised to pay you and your household the sum of One Million, Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars= $1,200,000.00.
Time is utmost important as the law stipulates that within 21days of the order without claim by the receiver which is you, such payment should be off the bank custody, that's why the time of this transaction is paramount important for you to comply now to receive your payment like other beneficiaries who have as well benefited from this program.
For Urgent contact me on: email@example.com
Thanks for banking with us.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) welcomes you
Ms. Linda Mark
Director Head Of Electronic Transfer