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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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)
- "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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "my direct line" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "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.
- 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: UNITED BANK OF AFRICA <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2021 11:30:56 +0100
Subject: DEDUCTION FEE
THIS TO INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED INSTRUCTION WITH YOUR PAYMENT
FILE FROM OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY TO TRANSFER YOUR INHERITANCE
PAYMENT US$10,500,000.00 TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT BY TOMORROW AS SOON AS
ALL CHARGES IS DEDUCTED.
PLEASE RE-CONFIRM YOUR BANK INFORMATION TO AVOID ANY MISTAKE DURING
THE TRANSFER BY TOMORROW. WE ARE GOING TO TRANSFER YOUR INHERITANCE
PAYMENT OF US$10,500,000.00 TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT BY TOMORROW AND THE
TRANSFER CONFIRMATION SLIPS AND OTHER APPROVALS DOCUMENTS WILL BE SENT
TO YOU FOR YOUR EASY CONFIRMATION.
AS A MATTER OF URGENCY YOU ARE ADVISED TO MAKE A PAYMENT OF US$35.00
BEEN PAYMENT OF DEDUCTION FEE.
THE DEDUCTION FEE OF US$35.00 WILL ENABLE THIS BANK TO OBTAIN AN
AFFIDAVIT AND STAMP DUTIES FROM HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA, WHICH WILL
EMPOWER US TO DEDUCT ALL CHARGES AND PREPARE YOUR DEDUCTION
CERTIFICATE THAT WILL SHOW THAT ALL CHARGES HAVE BEEN DEDUCTED AND YOU
WILL NOT PAY ANY OTHER FEE.
YOU ADVISED TO SEND THE DEDUCTION FEE OF US$35.00 TODAY THROUGH RIA OR
WORLDREMIT MONEY TRANSFER WITH THE NAME OF THE OFFICER IN CHARGE,
BONIFACE IGWE , LAGOS NIGERIA.
AS SOON AS WE RECEIVE THIS PAYMENT FROM YOU TODAY, WE WILL DEDUCT ALL
CHARGES AND YOUR BALANCE WILL BE REMITTED TO YOUR ACCOUNT ON TOMORROW
AND THE TRANSFER DETAILS WILL BE FORWARDED TO YOU FOR YOUR EASY
CONFIRMATION WITH YOUR BANK.
HERE IS THE INFORMATION TO PAY THE DEDUCTION FEE OF US$35.00
RECEIVER NAME: BONIFACE IGWE.
ADDRESS: LAGOS NIGERIA
ACT ACCORDING TO THE INSTRUCTIONS, I AM WAITING FOR YOUR URGENT RESPONSE.
NOTE: MAKE SURE YOU CALL ME AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS MAIL ON MY
DIRECT LINE +234-904-867-4645
REGARDS AND GOD BLESS YOU.
DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT.
UNITED BANK OF AFRICA (UBA)