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:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "robert mueller" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real FBI will not tell you to contact some email address. If you are in any doubt, contact an FBI field office via www.fbi.gov. )
- "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)
- "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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: ROBERT MUELLER III <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 07:03:47 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Letter From The Department Of Justice FBI
ROBERT MUELLER III
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FBI
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI.WASHINGTON D.C
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION SEEKING TO WIRETAP INTERNET
We believe this notification meet you in a very good present state of mind and health. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington, D.C in conjunction with some other relevant Investigations Agencies here in the United states of America 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 regard to your over-due contract payment which was fully endorsed in your favor accordingly. It might interest you to know that we have taken out time in screening through this project as stipulated on our protocol of operation and have finally confirmed that your contract payment is 100% genuine and hitch free from all facet and of which you have the lawful right to claim your fund without any further delay. Having said all this, we will further advise that you go ahead in dealing with the Central Bank office accordingly as we will be monitoring
all their services with you as well as your correspondence.
In addition, also be informed that we recently had a meeting with the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in the person of Mr Sanusi Lamido and Mr. Paul Jones along with some of the top officials of the ministry regarding your case and they made us to understand that your file has been held in abase depending on when you personally come for the claim. They also told us that the only problem they are facing right now is that some unscrupulous element are using this project as an avenue to scam innocent people off their hard earned money by impersonating the Executive Governor and the Central Bank office. We were also made to understand that a lady with name Mrs. Joan C. Bailey from OHIO has already contacted them and also presented to them all the necessary documentations evidencing your claim purported to have been signed personally by you prior to the release of your contract fund valued at about US$8,000,000.00 (Eight million united
states dollars),and as soon as i have received an immediate response from you do note that we shall begin with the processing of your funds.
We were further informed that we should warn our dear citizens who must have been informed of the contract payment which was awarded to them from the Central Bank of Nigeria, to be very careful prior to this irregularities so that they don't fall victim to this ugly circumstance. And in case, you are already dealing with anybody or office claiming to be from the Central Bank of Nigeria, you are further advised to STOP further contact with them in your best interest and then contact immediately the real office of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) only with the below information accordingly:
NAME: MR.SANUSI LAMIDO
OFFICE ADDRESS: Central Bank of Nigeria,
Central Business District,
Cadastral Zone, Abuja, Federal
Capital Territory, Nigeria.
NOTE: In your best interest, any message that doesn't come from the above email address and phone number should not be replied to and should be disregarded accordingly for security reasons. Meanwhile, we will advise that you contact the Governor of the Central Bank immediately with the above email address and request that they attend to your payment file as directed, so as to enable you receive your contract fund accordingly. To this effect, you are required to reconfirm and authenticate your given particulars below for certainty and onward processing and release of you funds as we may not be held liable for any wrong payment.
FULL NAMES: __________________________________
TELEPHONE NUMBER: _____________________
Ensure you follow all their procedure as may be required by them as that will further help hasten up the whole procedures as regard to the transfer of your fund to you as designated. Also have in mind that the Central Bank of Nigeria equally has their own protocol of operation as stipulated on their banking terms, so delay could be very dangerous. Once again, we will advise that you contact them with the above email address and make sure you forward to them all the necessary information which they may require from you prior to the release of your fund to you accordingly. All modalities has already been worked out even before you were contacted and note that we will be monitoring all your dealings with them as you proceed so you don't have anything to worry about.
All we require from you henceforth is an update so as to enable us be on track with you and the Central Bank of Nigeria. Without wasting much time, we will want you to contact them immediately with the above email address so as to enable them attend to your case accordingly without any further delay as time is already running out. Should in case you need any more information in regard to this notification, feel free to get back to us on this email so that we can brief you more as we are here to guide you during and after this project has been completely perfected and you have received your contract fund as stated.
Thank you very much for your anticipated co-operation in advance as we earnestly await your urgent response to this matter.
Robert S. Mueller III
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C