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:
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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.
- 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: "CBN,COMPUTER DEPARTMENT" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:38:59 -0800
Subject: CODED SECRET/CALL ME NOW.
My name is Mr.Smith Anderson, a Computer scientist and currently working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (C.B.N.)as the Transfer Central Computer Analyst/Director and i just starte
the work with C.B.N. as a computer scientist two weeks ago, I came across your payment file which was marked X and your released disk painted RED, I took time to study it and found out that you have paid VIRTUALLY all fees and certificate but the fund has not been release to you. The most annoying thing is that they cannot tell you the truth that on no account will they ever release the fund to you, instead they let you spend more money unnecessarily.
I do not intend to work here all the days of my life as iam only on contact basis with the CBN as a computer scientist, I can and will release this fund to you if you can certify me of my security and protections, and how I can run away from this country Nigeria if I release this funds to you within 48hours, because if I don't run away from this country after i made the transfer, I will be seriously in trouble and my life will be in danger hence they will suspect me but i will manipulate the DATA to invisible as by the time it will be detected it will be very late.
Please this is like a Mafia setting in Nigeria, you may not understand it because you are not a Nigerian and not here in Nigeria, The only thing I will need to release this fund to you is a special HARD DISK we call it HD 140 GBXZ. You will buy two of it which is all i needed to get your funds into your account by direct wire transfer into your bank account,i will recopy all your informations and destroy the previous one, and punch the computer to reflect the transfer in your bank account within 24 banking hours. I will clean up the Tracer and destroy your Transfer file, after which I will run away from Nigeria to meet with you.
If you are interested, do get in touch with me immediately on my E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org you should send to me your tel/fax numbers for easy communications and also re-confirm your banking details, so that there
won't be any mistake.
Have in mind that with the help of this Transfer Software the transfer will perfectly be taken place without causing any problem to the account in which you will provide for the fund transfer,call me on my below private mobile for more discussions on this if you are interested and please note that you will send the money which i will use to purchase the two HARD DISK,HD 140 GBXZ as iam not in a position to do that,so if you are interested contact me and call me so that we will proceed with the transactions,again you will provide the cost for the two HARD DISK needed for this transactions and if you are not ready to bother contacting me please as this is very confidential.
Looking forward for your call on my below mobile number any time and the requested details.