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)
- "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: "Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 12:26:54 +0100
Subject: Check and call for your fund payment
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
FORIEGN CONTRACT PAYMENT REVIEW DEPARTMENT
With the recent instruction from the World Bank. The Central Bank of Nigeria has been ordered to release and effect an immediate payment of your contract fund Valued ($US[8.7M) to your bank account. which is still been withhold by the apex bank.
In this regards,you are to contact me with these informations immediately as you re-comfirm the information,so that the Bank can now process your payment without further delay.
The informations are ;
Full Name and Address.
You are adviced to complete this instruction within 48 hours of this notice.
Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Governor Central Bank of Nigeria