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:
- 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:
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- ",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)
- "charles soludo" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Foreign Operation Department." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 23:23:36 -0800
Subject: Attn: Beneficiary, Ref: CBN/IRD/CBX/021/010.
Foreign Operation Department.
Central Bank of Nigeria
I received a transfer instruction from the Governor Central Bank of Nigeria in person of Mr. Sanusi Lamido Bond with the President Federal Republic ofNigeria ordered this office to credit Ten Beneficiaries account with full Contract amount which was overdue by the Ex-Governor (Prof. Charles Soludo) and his dubious officials.
Note: out-of ten selected beneficiaries approved for payment, your name and your contact address appeared in our file as the second beneficiary to receiveUS$25,000,000.00 via Telex Wire Transfer.
The first Beneficiary in our payment record (Mr.James Brown)From Uk, has received his fund via Telex Wire Transfer last week. You can call (Mr.James Brown) on +447024035956 for evidence.
Note: that every arrangement of your fund transfer is concluded, consequently you will oblige to pay $850 only for Telex Transfer Duty. It is compulsory.
Mr.James Brown as well paid $850 to complete the transfer of his fund.Please provide your existing Banking details for immediate transfer of your fund as recommend below:
Your Full Name
Your Direct Telephone Number
Your Age/ Occupation
Your Bank Name
Bank Account Number
Banking Routing Number or Swift Code
Note: upon the receipt of your Banking details as stated above, I will forward our payment instruction to you to send the Telex Transfer Duty fee of $850via Western Union Money Transfer to this office.
Finally, if you need more assurance on this payment, dont hesitate to call me on my direct phone number: +234-7091401115 or call Mr.James Brown for more proof
Dr. Tunde Lemo
Director (Foreign Operation Department)
Central Bank of Nigeria.
Mobile Line +234-7091401115