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:
- 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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Kingsley Moghalu" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2011 01:19:54 -0700
Subject: From Dr.Kingsley Moghalu
The management Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria wishes to creave the indulgeance to inform you that your outstanding payment has been re-approved by the senate committee on foreign debts and reconciliation.\par
This official approval was issued yesterday Wednesday 30th March 2011,during the committee's executive meeting with the memmbers of the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria and The President and Commander In chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr.Goodluck Jonathan(GCFR).\par
This official meeting was held to reddress the anomalies perpetrated by our predecessors who were in charge of your payment file.We are aware that you still maintain contact with some of them to receive your payment in naive of the recent cabinet reshuffle which has led to their replacements with capable and reliable officials.\par
Please,acknowledge this letter with your private phone number res/office address and identification for the processing of your payment.\par
You are privileged to indicate the method of payment that will be most convenient for you to receive your fund,out of the followings: Direct wire transfer to your bank account,ATM CARD payment method and Certified International Bank Draft .\par
We will wait expectantly for your immediate reply for more information to be given to you as regard the date of payment.\par
Thank you for your co-operation.\par
Dir.Financial System Stability\par
Central Bank of Nigeria\par