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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found 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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (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.
- 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 MOSES UZOEGBU" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 1 May 2010 11:24:12 +1000
Subject: PAYMENT VIA ATM CARD (SCANNED)
FROM THE DESK OF MR MOSES UZOEGBU
FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA,
Tel- +234 812-161-3439
NOTIFICATION OF PAYMENT VIA ATM CARD
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your payment.
Secondly, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with somenon-officials in the bank and some of Attorney as this is an illegal act and will have to stop if you so wish to receive your payment immediately.
After the Board of director's meeting held in Abuja,we have resolved in finding a solution to your problem.
We have arranged your payment through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTRE in Europe,America,Africa and Asia Pacific,This is part of an instruction/mandate passed by the Senate inrespect to overseas contract payment and debt re-scheduling.
We will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money via ATM MACHINE in any part of the world,and the maximum daily limit is One Thousand and Five Hundred United States Dollar($1,500.00).
If you like to receive your fund this way,Kindly reconfirm your
(1) Your Full Name
(2) Full residential address.
(3) Phone And Fax Number
We shall be expecting to receive your information as you have to stop any further communication with anybody or office.
I repeat again,here that you are receiving this money due to we have verified your file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and non fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your payment from banK,remember this is not CREDIT CARD which you will pay back later,you don't have to pay back we have already loaded your fund in to the ATM CARD.
Thanks for your co-operation.
MR MOSES UZOEGBU
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
CC: SENATE PRESIDENT
CC: ALL FOREIGN PAYMENT OFFICES
CC: BOARD OF DIRECTORS [CBN]
CC: ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION