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:
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Johnson Usman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2023 03:31:42 -0700
Subject: CHANGE OF OWNERSJP
United Bank Atm Section
U.b.a Bank Arena
Danmole Street off
Atm Section Head office
Victoria Island Lagos
CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP
ATTN: Beneficiary of $10.5M)
I want to inform you that Mr.Walter Jordan of USA has applied to stand
and to claim your part payment of $10.5 Million, he told our office
that he will handle the shipment cost of $105.00 and he also told us
that he is going to stand as your partner in business.
But since he is not the Bona-Fide- beneficiary of the said funds, he
want you to issue him a POWER of ATTORNEY authorizing him to be your
business partner and with such power of Attorney we can easily proceed
to send the Atm card to his Country.
Dear sir, kindly write a POWER OF ATTORNEY SIGN with date you can
immediately send it to us today to enable us Re-program the Atm card
in his Names as the new beneficiary. We cannot continue to keep your
Atm card un-claim.
Your urgent compliance to this request will help us to facilitate and
subsequently send the card to Mr.Walter Jordan of USA. I want you to
immediately write a POWER OF ATTORNEY and quickly submit to our office
record purposes but failure to send the power of Attorney, i will
personally involve our Acreditted Attorney to Act on your behalf.
But if you will take care of the delivery cost, then your should
ignore the requested Power of Attorney and forward the following
(1) Your full Nanes,
(2) Your Telephone No:,
(3) Delivery Addess,
(5) Send your Passport Copy to our Accout Officer below.
Kindly contact our Account officer at:
Mr. Stanley Ejiogu,
Atm card center,
United Bank for Africa
I really want to thank you for your understanding and may God bless you.
Yours in Services
Dr. Johnson Usman
Director of Operations
United Bank for Africa,