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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "CBN Governor" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 16:57:22 +0100
Subject: Funds Made Available--Support HAITI
Obviously, I do not know who you are and I wish you can comprehend the importance of this email to you and the people of HAITI. I am Mr. Sanusi Lamidu, the new governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN. Your contact was taken from philanthropic journal advertisers as one of the great philanthropists out there with good reputation on giving aid and charity to orphans and helpless in the society. therefore, I am convinced that you are a good candidate for this program.
I am looking for company/individual that runs an Non Government Organization NGO/ Non Profit Organization NPO who can set up an account in a neighboring country Benin Republic to be precise to give aid and support to the people of HAITI, hence I am contacting you as a reputable and reliable candidate. I will be funding the account while you use it for the purpose mentioned above, as good christian we have to care for one another and always realize that money is not everlasting and we all we die some day and leave it here. I believe the best thing any human being could do is to support the less prevelage.
As the new Governor of CBN and a government functionary, I can not run this program by myself nor make a direct transfer outside Nigeria due to our constitutional responsibilities but I have made an arrangement to transfer funds to Benin Republic which is the only possible means for me. Therefor, I need your cooperation to institute an account with the Bank while I fund the account from time to time. It might interest you to know that the funds dubiously framed by the former governor and his colleagues as contract funds to the tune of US$18.4Million. I have run a thorough investigation over the funds and discovered they are Inflated/Over Invoiced Contract Bills.
Normally, I should return this funds to the government treasury but my obligation as a christian wouldn't let me as my heart goes for the people of HAITI.
I will link you to the contact individual to coordinate the account setting in Benin Republic as soon as I hear from you. One last thing is that, i would like you to remain faithfully and transparent over this program as we can't afford to fail the good work that we are appointed to do in this life which surely will yield to our life after death which is the most important.
May it be given to you the understanding and wisdom to treat this message as required.
Awaiting your sincere response
Mr. Sanusi Lamidu