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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: cbn transfer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 17:38:11 +0100
Subject: RE: FULL PAYMENT OF YOUR OUTSTANDING FUND
RE: FULL PAYMENT OF YOUR OUTSTANDING FUND
We thank you for your co-operation on the successful transfer of first batch of your part payment of three million US Dollar ($3,000,000.00) transferred in to bank account with Bank of America P. O, Box 37000 Dept # 3660.
San Francisco, CA 94137 0001, with details highlighted below on 18th August 2009 which you have acknowledged receipt of the fund.
Name of Bank: Bank of America
Account Number: 501003225336
Account: Name: Aurora E Crittenden
Swift Code: BOFAUS3N
Routing No: 026009593
However, we write to inform you that the remaining balance of your fund has been approved for payment again and would be transferred to the same bank account as stated above which you provided in the course of the former payment received.
Kindly advise and notify us of changes if any before we proceed with the transfer Please note that the transfer shall be the same way we made the first payment to you thus; telegraphic transfer and shall be confirm within three (3) working days from the date of the transfer. Also include your telephone number and give this matter urgent attention it demands so that you can receive your payment within the time frame of the approval.
You are advised to deal directly to this department. You can call directly on: +234-7034605443 Email:email@example.com
For Central Bank of Nigeria
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