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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: CENTRAL BANK OF NIG... <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2012 13:27:36 +0100 (CET)
Subject: DID YOU AUTHORIZE CHANGE OF ACCOUNT TO YOUR PAYMENT FILE?
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN).
HEAD OFFICE - ABUJA Office Address: Zaria street. Abuja.
Postal Address: P.M.B 0187, Garki Abuja.
Our Ref: CBN/OHG/FGN/2012
Your Ref:.......................... .......
PAYMENT FILE: CBN/BEN/09.
DID YOU AUTHORIZE CHANGE OF ACCOUNT TO YOUR PAYMENT FILE?
You are been officially contacted by Central Bank of Nigeria the Apex Bank of all commercial Banks here in Nigeria. Please confirm this information. Did you ask Mr. Edmond Beneker from USA to claim your fund? This man was directed to us by Mr. John Adams the account officer that is supposed to transfer your fund to your account. Please as matter of urgency get back to us immediately before things will get wrong. Below are the account details of Mr. Edmond Beneker where he authorized us to transfer your fund into:
Name on account: Edmond Beneker
Bank Name: Wachovia Bank
Address: 8233 Rochester Hwy. SC4600 Salem, SC 29676 USA.
Acct. #: 1010246561978
Swift Code: pnbpus76.
Please, do reconfirm to this office, as a matter of urgency immediately without further delay so as to enable us conclude on your transfer files. You are requested to fill and send the below informations: for verification purposes so that your fund will be remitted to your nominated bank account. Or to any of your approved representative. The verification informations needed is as follows.
1. Your Name:
2. Your Full Address:
3. Your Telephone/ fax:
6. Your Occupation.
As the Governor of this Noble Bank, I was supposed to Release this Funds to him but I refused to do so because I wanted to hear from you first. Due to the Nature of my job, I will not want to make any mistake in releasing this fund to anyone except you whom is the recognized beneficiary to this Fund. Kindly clarify us on this issue before we make this Payment to this foreigner/representative whom came on your behalf.
I'm waiting for your reply today.
Dr. Lamido Sanusi.
Governor Central Bank Of Nigeria
CC: SENATE PRESIDENT
CC: ALL FOREIGN PAYMENT OFFICES
CC: BOARD OF DIRECTORS [FPD]A
CC: ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION.
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Warning: This transmission is confidential and intended solely for the
person(s) or organization(s) to whom it is addressed. It may contain
privileged and/or confidential information. If you are not the
intended recipient, you are not authorized to copy, distribute or take