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:
- "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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "stay blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Tunde Lemo" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 05:53:03 +0100
Subject: RE:THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER...
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT
Our Ref : CBN/FOD/CBX/0174/07
>From : Dr. Tunde Lemo.
( Deputy Governor Central Bank of Nigeria ).
THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER .
I am delighted to contact you on a private note based on your claim to your funds which has been programmed for transfer into your designated bank account through my department. I am hereby apologizing to you for the delay in releasing this fund into your account, which was caused by me because of Breach of Agreement between me and your so-called partner(s) in Nigeria who introduced you into the business. Your Nigerian partners approached me that they want to present you as a beneficiary of this fund as this fund has been lying fallow in a domicile account. So after the negotiation, we unanimously agreed that they (your partners) would give me the sum of US$200,000.00 (CASH) on my acceptance to assist them to transfer the fund into your account. When I accepted the offer, they forwarded all your banking particulars to me for onward transfer. As soon as I made some fruitful efforts on the business and demanded my US$200,000..00 as agreed, Your partners deviated from the agreement and decided to go through th
I want to re emphasis to you that your fund is still with me and under my control. Now with my whole heart I want to enter into real business with you on a sincere agreement since your partners have disappointed me and the fund is still floating on your name waiting for a proper documentation and claim.
1 .On an agreement, I assure you that I am going to transfer this fund into your account.
2. You will assure me of keeping my dealings with you to utmost secrecy because of my position.
3. You will promise to Compensate me adequately as the fund gets into your account..
4. I will assist you in making a proper documentation to make your claim genuine as a bona fide beneficiary to the said fund.
I am aware that some fraudulent individuals has been impersonating my name and office to contact beneficiaries as reported by the Central Bank of Nigeria authorities. I advised you that henceforth, you should suspend any dealings from any group of person(s) either from the CBN or any other financial institution / Offices in Nigeria or overseas that might be contacting you in this purpose and endeavor to keep this information confidential until we finalize this transaction. Also on no account must you contact these partners any more, this is for my own safety and for the security of the fund, because they will not stop at any length to getting this fund. And on no account must you let them know of my contact with you. Please reply this message urgently soon as you receive it. While waiting for your favorable response, stay blessed.
DR. TUNDE LEMO.
Deputy Governor. (Finance Sector Surveillance Directorate, Central Bank of Nigeria).