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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR.HARRIS BLESSING" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2010 22:02:02 -0700
Subject: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
MY NAME IS MR. HARRIS BLESSING OF TELEX/COMPUTER DEPARTMENT OF THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK,LAGOS NIGERIA.I AM SENDING THIS PRIVATE EMAIL BASED ON THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE TRANSACTION. PLEASE, I WILL LIKE TO ADVISE IF AFTER GOING THROUGH MY PROPOSAL AND YOU DO NOT ACCEPT IT, KINDLY KEEP IT TO YOUR SELF. AS OF THIS MOMENT, I AM STILL IN SERVICE WITH THE ADB NIGERIA (ADB). AND I WILL NOT BY ANY MEANS LIKE TO LOSE MY JOB, IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED. I HAVE PUT IN OVER 23 YEARS IN THIS BANK BUT I DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO SHOW FOR IT.
THIS IS JUST MY OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE SURE THAT I GIVE MY CHILDREN A DECENT TRAINING SINCE MY GOVT. WHICH IS CORRUPT HAS REFUSED TO TAKE CARE OF ITS RESPONSIBILITY. INFACT I AM SICK AND TIRED OF EVERYTHING HERE I NEED TO GET OUT. I FOUND OUT THAT YOU ALMOST MET ALL THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS IN RESPECT OF YOUR PAYMENT. PLEASE BE EQUALLY ADVISED THAT NO SECURITY COMPANY IN AFRICA CAN HANDLE YOUR CONTRACT PAYMENT/INHERITANCE FUND WITH ANY BANK WITHOUT THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE AFRICAN DEV. BANK, NIGERIA.
YOUR PROBLEM IS THAT OF INTEREST GROUP IN THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA THAT IS SUPPOSED TO TRANSFER YOUR FUND WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE ADB. A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN YOUR PAYMENT AND THAT EXPLAINS WHY YOU RECEIVE EMAILS AND PHONE CALLS FROM DIFFERENT PEOPLE EVERYDAY. THEIR WHOLE GAME PLAN IS TO FRUSTRATE YOU IN ORDER FOR YOU TO ABANDON THE CONTRACT PAYMENT AND THEN, THEY WILL BE COMFORTABLE AND FREE ENOUGH TO TRANSFER THE CONTRACT FUNDS INTO THEIR OVERSEAS ACCOUNT. THEIR AIM AND TARGET IS NOT THE MONEY YOU ARE GIVING THEM BUT TO FRUSTRATE YOU. HENCE, YOU HAVE LOST TRUST ON WHOM TO BELIEVE TO BE GENUINE.
I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THIS MAY LAST FOR YEARS, YET NOTHING HAPPENS. TO SUM IT UP, I WISH TO ASSURE YOU THAT WITH MY POSITON HERE IN THE TELEX DEPARTMENT, I WILL PUNCH THE COMPUTER AND CREDIT INTO YOUR ACCOUNT STRAIGHT. I CAN ACCOMPLISH THIS UNDER FIVE WORKING DAYS. BUT WE HAVE TO REACH AN AGREEMENT. FIRST OF ALL, YOU HAVE TO LET ME KNOW HOW MUCH YOU WILL GIVE ME AT THE CONSUMMATION OF THIS DEAL.
FINALLY, YOU WILL HAVE TO ACCEPT TO KEEP THIS TRANSACTION STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL IF YOU ACCEPT MY PROPOSAL, KINDLY GET BACK TO ME IMMEDIATEL AND CONFIRM YOUR PARTICULARS ON REPLY.
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK