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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Kennedy UZOKA" <www.ubabj.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2021 23:31:31 -0700
Subject: IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR TRANSACTION
I am Kennedy UZOKA,The Group Managing Director/CEO at United Bank for
Africa Plc,you are lucky to have me interfere in your transaction.
This message contains the terms of banking order, I am not sending you
this message to entertain pity, this is why I must inform you first
before embarking on such a huge lost decision. Your payment file was
brought to my desk with aims of cancelling the transaction pending
I paused the process and decided to contact you as Group Managing
Director/CEO at United Bank for Africa Plc.I am a superior to other
staff handling this transaction before, my words are final but time
doesn't permit me to be in charge of any transaction but as it stands
I have taken charge of your transaction. Your payment file contained
information of 4,500,000:00 USD not any other amount, any other amount
contrary to this is fake.
The official of this bank is writing to inform you that we are no
longer happy with your delay and silent over your fund, now we wish to
know how you prefer to receive your fund, do you want to receive it by
wire transfer payment or through ATM card?? Reply back once you
receive this email. If we didn't hear from you until next 48hours the
transaction will be cancelled and diverted into Federal Government
Group Managing Director/CEO at United Bank for Africa Plc