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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "my direct telephone number" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "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)
- "lagos" (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 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: SANUSI LAMIDO SANUSI <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 04:23:36 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: It has been resolved and agreed upon!
From the Desk Of: Mr.Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Central Bank of Nigeria
Tinubu Square Lagos
Tel: +234 709 334 7340
It is my pleasure to inform you that
it has been resolved and agreed upon by the Vice President Federal
Republic of Nigeria, Dr.Goodluck Jonathan,who is now the acting
president in the continued absence of President Umaru Yar'Adua, that
your contract/inheritance fund valued at Ten Million Seven Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars( US$10,700,000) Will be released to you
via three options.
Note; that your contract/inheritance
fund will be released to you as soon as your ready to work according to
my directives which leaves you with options on how you want your funds
to be released to you:
*Do you wish to have it Processed into An ATM CARD?
*Do you want it to be transferred to Account of Your choice?
*Do you want it to be delivered in cash?
Which Of these Options Do you wished to have your funds?
I proceed you call me on my direct telephone number (+234 709 334 7340)/E-mail
over your acceptance and seriousness to receive your fund with the
below information to enable me re-confirm with what I have in my
Central Data Computer in my Office.
1. PERSONAL INFORMATION:
1.1. Your Full Name: ___________________Title: __________________
1.2. Sex: _______________Age/Marital Status: __________________
1.3. Name of Company: _______________ Occupation: ________________
1.4. Home/Residential Address: ________________________
1.5. Country: _______________City/State: ________________________
1.6. Direct Telephone Number: (______) ________
1.7. Scan Copy of Working Identity Card/Passport: ______________
NOTE: this is for Swift Telegraphic Transfer
2. BANK INFORMATION:
2.1. Bank Name: ___________________
2.2. Bank Address: _________________________________
2.3 Bank Telephone Number: (______) _______
2.4. Account Name: _______________
2.5. Account Number: _______________
2.6. Routing Number: ______________
2.7. Swift Code: ______________
2.8. Iban Code: ______________
Awaiting to hear from you.
Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)