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:
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "PAYMENT AUTHORIZATION" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 22:14:36 +0100
Subject: Information Regarding Your Fund. (USD10.5 Million)
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR,
FOREIGN OPERATION DEPARTMENT.
Dear Fund Beneficiary,
Your payment of Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars from the Government of Nigeria has been approved to be paid to you in this final qarter with approved # 1209/10. You're advised now to contact the Manager, National Commercial Bank of Burkina Faso (MR. KOFI ZIMAMMAN) through his email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your approved # to enable him pay you immediately. Tell him you received a message from us instructing you to contact him with the above approved number.
Thanks for adhering this instructions and once again accept our congratulations!
Alhaji Suleiman Barau
Corporate Services Directorate