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:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Federal Bureau of Investigations" <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 21:43:04 +0307 (zzz)
Subject: MY GREATST PLEASURE
We believe this notification meet you in a very good present state of mind
and health and also we want you not to panic or be afraid because we
contacted you. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington, D.C
in conjunction with some other relevant Investigations Agencies here in
the United states of America have recently been informed through our
Global intelligence monitoring network that you presently have a
transaction going on with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as regard to
your over-due contract payment which was fully endorsed in your favor
We wish to inform you that we intercepted your fund so as to make sure all
necessary steps and arrangement was taken in order for you to receive your
fund. Your Fund is in our office here in Washington, we will want you to
reconfirm the following informations which we have in our file so as to
avoid double claiming from another person.
All you need to do is contact the Foreign Des patch officer in order to
conclude with him in order to get the Approval Slip / Clearance.
And in case, you are already dealing with anybody or office claiming to be
from the Central Bank of Nigeria, you are further advised to STOP further
contact with them in your best interest and then contact immediately the
real office of the Foreign dispatch officer
NAME:MR James Ubani
TELEPHONE: +234 806 209 6250
NOTE: In your best interest, any message that doesn't come from the above
email address and phone number should not be replied and should be
disregarded accordingly for security reasons. Meanwhile, we will advice
that you contact the Foreign dispatch officer of the Central Bank of
Nigeria immediately with the above email address and make sure you
provide us with the Approval Slip immediately.
Feel Free to email us back with the below email addresses so that we can
brief and guide you through in receiving your fund because they are intact
in our office and sealed.
Thank you very much for your co-operation in advance as we earnestly await
your urgent response to this matter.
We await your mail and call soonest
Signature of Robert S. Mueller, III
Robert muller iii
Federal Bureau of Investigations
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: THIS COMMUNICATION AND ITS ATTACHMENTS MAY CONTAIN
NON-PUBLIC, CONFIDENTIAL OR LEGALLY PRIVILEGED INFORMATION. THE UNLAWFUL
INTERCEPTION, USE OR DISCLOSURE OF SUCH INFORMATION IS PROHIBITED. IF YOU
ARE NOT THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, OR HAVE RECEIVED THIS COMMUNICATION IN
ERROR, PLEASE NOTIFY THE SENDER IMMEDIATELY BY REPLYING TO THIS EMAIL AND
DELETE ALL COPIES OF THIS COMMUNICATION AND ATTACHMENTS WITHOUT READING OR
This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is
believed to be clean.