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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Johnson Olu <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 1 May 2010 09:53:44 +0000 (GMT)
Central Bank of Nigeria,
Plot 33, Abubakar Tafawa
C.B District, Abuja, F.C.T,
Nigeria P.M.B. 0187,
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Attention: Beneficiary.Â Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Re: instruction to credit your account with the
sum of US$10,000,000.00
This is to notify you that your over due inheritance
funds has been gazetted to be release to your bank account within 48hrs, via key
telex transfer (KTT).
Mean while, a woman came to my office this
morning with an application for transfer of the fund into her account on your
behalf, claiming to be your representative.
Here are the informationâs
she submitted for the transfer of your fund
Name MRS. JINNIFER
Bank name: WACHOVIA BANK, New-York.
Please, do re-confirm to this office, as a matter of urgency
if this woman is truly from you as the federal finance dept or our bank / my
office will not be held responsible for paying into the wrong account.
The reserve bank governor, executive, board of
directors and the senate committee for foreign over due Inheritance fund have
approved and accredited our reputable bank with the office of the director,
international remittance/ Director Foreign Affairs , to handle and transfer of
all foreign inheritance funds this first quarter payment schedule of the year
However, we shall proceed to issue all payments details to the
said MRS. JENNIFER MORISON, if we do not hear from you within the next 4 working
days from today; this fund will be transferred to the account of JENNIFER
Meanwhile, you are advice to get back to my office immediately
with the requested details to enable us have your correct details to wire your
1. Your full name:........................
2. Your telephone
3. Your full home address:.................
Your Bank Name:............................
5. Bank account details (were the
fund will be transfer into)
This fund will be remitted into your
bank account within 48hrs as soon as you confirm to this office that you did not
send the above name to claim your fund on your behalf, make sure that you get
back to us with your above requested information unless you are sure that you
send MRS. JENNIFER MORISON to claim the fund on your behalf.
Johnson OluÂ International Operations
Central Bank of Nigeria
Federal Republic of