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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Alhaji Baba Giwa Gana" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2009 13:38:36 -0800
Subject: Attention My Dear Friend.
Attention My Dear Friend.
After a serious thought, I decided to reach you directly and personally because I do not have anything against you, but your Nigerian partners. I am the director of wire transfer/telex department of the central bank of Nigeria.
Some time in the past your Nigerian partners approached me through a friend of mine who works with one of the ministries here and requested that I assist them conclude a money transfer deal .they told me to help program the transfer to you.
According to them, they wanted to use this strategy to transfer a huge amount of United States dollars; the money has been floating in the CBN suspense account since then. We agreed that once I do this, they would give me $100,000.00 and give me another us$100,000.00 when I release the fund to your account. When they saw that I have programmed it and your name has been approved among the list of those to be paid, instead of giving me the agreed deposit of us$100,000.00, they started avoiding me and resorted to threats. I immediately deleted the transfer code of the fund, which is only known to me because of my position, and released other contractor's funds and inheritance payments without yours. They became angry. When they saw that their threat did not work, they started bribing other officials to get another approval to transfer the money to you without success. I want you to know that I am 100% responsible for the delay and obstructions because of their breach of trust.
If you doubt what I have just told you, then consider what has transpired through out your claim process vanity, they will continue to ask you to pay more money and at the end no result and they will still tell you to pay another fee without any result yet. They are simply wicked. Now if you want us to work together, these are my conditions.
No. 1: I will have 20% of the money because it is only the two of us left for now.
No. 2: You will assist my son to open an account in your country where I will pay in my own share.
No.3: It will be useless and mere waste of time and money if you continue with any other person, so we will conclude this transaction with utmost secrecy. With the telephone # and fresh email address that you will provide while replying.
No. 4: You will provide me with your private mobile telephone #, and a private email address to facilitate easy communication between you and I only. If these conditions are acceptable to you, contact me as soon as possible for us to finalize, so that the funds can be released to your account after due protocols has been observed. But if you are not interested, I advice you to forget the fund and stop wasting your time with your so called partners. This is all I have to tell you for now and it is the only pure truth and nothing more nothing less. Until I hear from you.
Alhaji Baba Giwa Gana (ABGG)
Director, Wire Transfer/Telex Dept. (CBN).