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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr JIM LANDE" <ALLIANCEBNKUK14@w7r377p0l.homepage.t-online.de>
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2011 07:49:55 -0700
Subject: THETRUTH OF THE MATTER
FROM THE DESK OF
DR. JIM LANDE.
After waiting to hear from you or your Nigerian partners for a long time
now. I decided to make this direct approach to you as my new resolution in
other not to let it be as if I have anything in mind against you. l do not
know if you have asked yourself why each time the release of this fund is
approved, all of a sudden, the payment will be stopped or one problem or the
other will come up. If you have not asked this question or you do not know,
this is an opportunity for me to tell you.
Some time ago, your Nigerian friends, l mean the people that introduced you
to this project approached me through my dear wife who works with the
Federal Ministry of Finance and requested me to assist them conclude a money
transfer deal they had with you.
They requested me to assist them by removing the original contractors
name, companys name and bank particulars from the Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN) vetting computer and replacing them with your name and your
bank details in order to make you appear as the rightful beneficiary of this
fund. I agreed on condition that they will pay me US$100,000 as soon as your
name appears as the beneficiary. I did as agreed and demanded to be paid,
but your friends started telling me stories, they even told me you promised
to send money to me.
Do you know that up till now have not received a single cent from them and
have not set my eyes on any of them. Based on their attitude decided to
stop the fund release movement because l cannot be denied of my right in my
own office considering the risk as it might affect my job. Secondly know
the source of the funds that you did not execute any contract in
Nigeria, although l am the only person privileged to know this information
and it is a fact.
Why l am making this clear to you is that l can see that you are still
making efforts in order to conclude this project. Now l am ready to forget
the past. l do not need the US$100,000 any longer from you but a good
compensation from your mind. l need your assurance that those your
colleagues will be totally kept out of this transaction. l know that none
of them is aware of my new approach to you.
Stop spending your money unnecessarily to CBN Officers both here and
overseas because you will not receive this money without my hand in it .l
personally did the work at the beginning and only me can perform it. Finally
I need your promise that no official of the CBN will be aware of my
involvement in this regard because of my position.
Now re-assure that you will be willing to compensate me, that you will assist
my wife to establish a foreign account in your country where my compensation
will be lodged. Also a KTT FUND RELEASE APPROVAL DOCUMENTS will be sent to
you for endorsement after which l will remit the money within 48 hours. l am
a man of my word. If you are ready to conclude this business with me, kindly
contact me on private email: (email@example.com) so that we can have a
chat over this issue once and for all.
But if the reverse is the case, do not bother yourself to reach me and
forget about this fund.
DR. JIM LANDE