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:
- "lamido aminu sanusi" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "ROBERT SWAN MUELLER III (FBI DIRECTOR)" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 08:04:46 +0100
Subject: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SEEKING TO WIRETAP THE INTERNET / RESPOND IN DUE TIME.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI.WASHINGTON DC.
WASHINGTON D.C ROOM, 7367
J. EDGAR HOOVER FBI BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE,
NW WASHINGTON, DC 20535,0001.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SEEKING TO WIRETAP THE INTERNET
GREETINGS AND GOOD DAY TO YOU. THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) WASHINGTON DC IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE INTERNET CRIME COMPLAINT CENTRE (IC3), NATIONAL WHITE COLLAR CRIME CENTRE (NW3C), BUREAU OF JUSTICE ASSISTANCE (BJA) AND SOME OTHER RELEVANT INVESTIGATION AGENCY HERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND OVERSEAS HAVE RECENTLY BEEN INFORMED THROUGH OUR GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE MONITORING NETWORK THAT YOU PRESENTLY HAVE A TRANSACTION GOING ON WITH THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN) AS REGARDS TO YOUR LONG OVER DUE CONTRACT AWARD PAYMENT WHICH WAS FULLY ENDORSED IN YOUR FAVOUR WITHOUT ANY CLAUSE.
THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY INFORM YOU THAT AFTER AN INVESTIGATIVE BACKGROUND CHECK ON YOUR PAYMENT FILE, WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY DEALING WITH SOME UNSCRUPTLOUS ELEMENTS/CRIMINALS CLAIMING TO REPRESENT THE INTEREST OF YOUR FUND FROM THE CBN. YOU ARE HEREBY ADVISED AND WARNED TO CONTACT THE RIGHTFUL BANK WHERE YOUR FUND IS CURRENTLY LODGED.
CONTACT: MR SANUSI LAMIDO AMINU SANUSI
OFFICE ADDRESS: CENTRAL BANK HOUSE, TINUBU SQUARE, LAGOS - NIGERIA.
KEEP US POSTED AS SOON AS YOU HAVE MADE CONTACT WITH THE NEW CBN EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR TO ENABLE US DIRECT YOU ACCORDINGLY.
YOURS IN SERVICE,
ROBERT SWAN MUELLER III.