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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" 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: UBA BANK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2022 11:17:56 +0100
Subject: REF: (DTC0414) COMPENSATION / UBA BANK 2022
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
International Debt Settlement Unit,
# 1900, AV. DU PRESIDENT
In fact, we have been asked by the President and the governing body of the
United Nations Monetary Unit to investigate the uncollected funds that have
long been payable in the UN government basket, which has left owners
confused that fraudsters using the United Nations name have been received.
During our investigation According to the record of data storage from our
system with your e-mail address, your payment is among a list of 150
recipients categorized as: Undelivered lottery fund / Lottery unpaid fund /
Incomplete transfer of inheritance funds / contracts.
We are appalled to find that your payment has been unnecessarily delayed by
corrupt bank officials in an attempt to deceive your fund, leading to so
many losses from your end and unnecessary delays in receiving your payment.
The United Nations and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have decided
to pay all compensation to 150 recipients from North America, South
America, the United States, Europe and Asia, and around the world via the
ATM Visa Card, as it is a global payment technology that allows consumers,
businesses, financial institutions and governments to use digital currency
instead of cash and checks.
We have ensured that the payment is made to you via an ATM Visa Card, which
will be issued in your name and sent directly to your address via DHL or
any courier service available in your country. After you contact us,
$2,500,000.00 will be credited to your ATM Visa Card, allowing you to
withdraw your funds at any ATM in your country with a minimum withdrawal of
$10,000 per day. Your limit can be increased to $20,000.00 per day at your
request. In this regard, you must contact and provide the required
information to the Directorate for International Payments and Transfers as
1. Your full name (first and last name)
2. Your full address of residence and country
4. Date of birth / sex
7. Your company e-mail address / personal e-mail address.
Use this code (Ref: CLIENT-966/27) as the subject of your e-mail address
for identification and try to provide the above information to the
officials below for the issuance and delivery of your ATM Visa Card; We
have advised the Bank Agent to open a private email address with a new
number so that we can track this payment and communication with the
transfer to prevent further delays or misdirections of your fund.
Please contact the United Bank for Africa agent with the contact details
Contact: MR. ANTHONY CHIKELU
Compensation Fund Department (United Bank for Africa)
Contact Email: (email@example.com)
Bank site: https://www.ubagroup.com
Phone: +228 91 87 48 84
To avoid further delays, we've requested your urgent response to this email
per the instructions.
mr. Anthony Chicelu