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:
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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)
- 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: "MR. SANUSI LAMIDO" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2010 03:30:01 -0800
Subject: YOUR OVERDUE CONTRACT PAYMENT DELIVERY
FROM MR. LAMIDO SANUSI
IMMEDIATE CASH PAYMENT
[OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR]
IMMEDIATE PAYMENT NOTIFICATION AV/CONT/NNPC/FGN/MIN/0009
ATTN : HONOURABLE BENEFICIARY
I am Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, The newly appointed Governor
of the Central Bank of Nigeria. I decided to contact you
because of the prevailing security report reaching my office
and the intense nature of polity in Nigeria.
This is to inform you about our plan to send your fund to
you via cash delivery. This system will be easier for you
and for us. We are going to send your contract part payment
of US$10. Million to you via courier service. The money is
coming on 2 security proof boxes. The boxes are sealed with> synthetic nylon
and padded with machine. This fund was> brought to us from America; it was
meant for our Local AFEM
The boxes are coming with a Diplomatic agent who will
accompany the boxes to your house address.
All you need to do is to send your contact information and
identification either your International passport or driver
license including your contact phone numbers, The Diplomatic
attached will travel with it.
He will call you immediately he arrive in your country's
Your Full Name:_________________________ ____
Your Complete Address (Physical Address with Zip
Name of City of Residence:____________________ ___________
Working Identity Card/Passport in attachment
Mobile Number:_______________________ ____________
Fax Number:_______________________ ____________
I will let you know when the boxes will be airlifted, Note:
The diplomatic does not know the original contents of the
boxes,What l declared to them as the contents is Sensitive
Photographic Film Material. If eventually you are asked tell
them is Sensitive Photographic Film Material.
You have to response as soon as you receive this email to
enable us to commence the process for the delivery, the
boxes are schedule to leave as soon as we hear from you.
Call me immediately you receive this message. +234 80370-858-57
Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).