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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Malam Lamido Sanusi" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 17:17:41 +0700 (ICT)
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
HEAD OFFICES ABUJA
PAYMENT CODE: WB/CEN/06654-15
RE: BANK DRAFT PAYMENT OF US$1,500,000.00
This is to bring to your notice that we are delegated from the WORLD BANK
in Central Bank to pay 150 victims of scam, US$1,500,000.00 (One Million
Five Hundred Thousand Dollars only each). You are listed and approved for
this payment as one of the scammed victims to be paid this amount, get
back to this office as soon as possible for the immediate payment of your
US$1,500,000.00 compensation funds.
On this faithful recommendation, we want you to know that during the last
meeting held at Abuja, Nigeria. It was alarming on the money lost by
various individuals to the scam artist operating in syndicates all over
the world today. In other to compensate victims, the WORLD BANK body is
now paying 150 victims US$1,500,000.00 each in accordance with the WORLD
BANK recommendations. Based on the above, a Bank Draft of US$1,500,000.00
has been issued in your name.
Benefactors of this compensation award will have to be first cleared and
recommended for payment by Central Bank. According to the number of
applicants at hand, 114 beneficiaries has been paid, over a half of the
victims are from the United states, we still have an outstanding of 36
scam victims left to be paid. Other victims who have not been contacted
can submit their application as well for scrutiny and possible
consideration. We shall deliver your fund to your address as soon as we
get response from you to receive your compensation payment.
Send below informations and payment code in your reply to this office.
(3) Copy or number of your Identification (International Passport or
(4) Phone number: