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:
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (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 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: UNITED NATIONS AND NIGERIA GOVERNMENT <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 2010 18:36:22 +0100
Subject: ZENITH BANK PLC
ZENITH BANK PLC
ZENITH BANK/UNITED NATIONS 2008/09 SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATIONS
SCAMMED VICTIMs/ $100,000 BENEFICIARIES.
REF/PAYMENTS CODE: ZENB/06654 $100,000 USD.
This is to bring to your notice that we are delegated from
the UNITED NATIONS in Central Bank to pay 150 victims of
scam $100,000 USD (One Hundred Thousand Dollars) each. You
are listed and approved for this payment as one of the
scammed victims to be paid this amount, get back to this
office as soon as possible for the immediate payments of
your $100,000 USD compensations funds.
On this faithful recommendations, want you to know that
during the last U.N. meetings held at Abuja, Nigeria, it was
alarming on the money lost by various individuals to the
scams artists operating in syndicates all over the world
today. In other to compensate victims, the UNITED NATIONS
Body is now paying 150 victims $100,000 USD each in
accordance with the UNITED NATIONS recommendations. Due to
the corrupt and inefficient Banking Systems in Nigeria, the
payments are to be paid by Central Bank of Nigeria as
corresponding paying bank under funding assistance by The
Rabo Bank, based in London UK. for funds remittance.
Benefactor of this compensation will have to be first
cleared and recommended for payment by ZENITH BANK PLC.
According to the number of applicants at hand, 114
Beneficiaries has been paid, over a half of the victims are
from the United States, we still have a pending of 36
compensations left to be paid. Your particulars was
mentioned by one of the Syndicates who was arrested as one
of their victims of the operations, you are hereby warned
not to communicate or duplicate this message to him for any
reason what so ever as the U.S. secret service is already on
trace of the other criminals. So keep it secret till they
are all apprehended. Other victims who have not been
contacted can submit their application as well for scrutiny
and possible consideration
To enable your compensation to be processed, you are
required to make available
the below requirements which enables the prompt payment of
your COMPENSATION to this office
1. Full Names:
2. Date Of Birth:
3. Telephone Number:
4. Total Amount Defrauded (For record keep):
5.Any Mode of identification (Drivers License or work ID)
6. Payment Option (WIRE TRANSFER OR CHECK/DRAFT):
NOTE: You are to take note of option 1&6 respectively.
On the provision of the requirements, your will be processed
payment option and remitted to you as soon as possible.
ZENITHBANK/UNITED NATIONS 2008/09 COMPENSATION
NOTE: The UN/Nigerian Government will decline any other
complains of scam
should you fall victim again after this compensations is
paid and transferred to you.