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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "lamido aminu sanusi" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "executive governor" (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)
- "lagos" (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: "CBN BANK-NIGERIA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 11:17:28 +0100
Subject: !.URGENT REPLY NEEDED: ATTENTION: SIR/MADAM
FROM THE DESK OF: MALLAM. SANUSI LAMIDO AMINU SANUSI
EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA(CBN).
INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT,
CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS:# CBN HOUSE TINUBU SQUARE,
ELEKE CRESCENT-VICTORIA ISLAND, MARINA, LAGOS-
NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA.
P.O.BOX 55037 FALOMO IKOYI LAGOS ISLAND MARINA.
INHERITANCE/CONTRACT FUND, #:FGN/MAV/NNPC/MIN/0109.
THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT YOUR OVER DUE INHERITANCE/CONTRACT FUNDS HAS BEEN GAZETTED TO BE RELEASED, VIA KEY TELEX TRANSFER (K.T.T)--DIRECT WIRE TRANSFER TO YOU OR THROUGH ANY OF OUR CORRESPONDENT NOMINATED BANK, BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE FOR FOREIGN OVER DUE FUND TRANSFER.MEANWHILE, A WOMAN CAME TO MY OFFICE FEW DAYS AGO WITH A LETTER,CLAIMING TO BE YOUR TRUE REPRESENTATIVE. HERE ARE HER INFORMATIONS FOR YOU TO CONFIRM TO THIS OFFICE IF THIS WOMAN IS TRULY FROM YOU OR NOT SO THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING INTO ANY WRONG ACCOUNTS.
CLAIMS NAME: MRS.JANET WHITE BANK NAME: CITI BANK ARIZONA, USA. ACCOUNT NUMBER: 6503809428. PLEASE, DO RECONFIRM TO THIS OFFICE,AS A MATTER OF URGENCY IF THIS WOMAN IS FROM YOU.
YOU ARE REQUESTED TO FILL AND SEND THIS INFORMATIONS FOR VERIFICATIONS PURPOSES SO THAT YOUR FUND VALUED US$7.5M (SEVEN MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS) WILL BE REMITTED INTO YOUR NOMINATED BANK ACCOUNT ANY WHERE. THIS FUND IS AS A RESULT OF INHERITANCE/CONTRACT ON YOUR BEHALF. INFORMATION NEEDED FROM YOU FOR VERIFICATION IS AS FOLLOWS:
1. YOUR FULL NAMES:..............................
2. YOUR CONTACT ADDRESS OF RECEIVING:......................
3. YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER:.........................
4. YOUR FAX NUMBERS IF AVAILABLE:........................
7. YOUR OCCUPATION:...........................
8. YOUR BANKING DETAILS:......................
9. ANY COPY OF YOUR ID:................
AS SOON AS WE RECEIVE THIS INFORMATIONS, WE WILL COMMENCE WITH ALL NECESSARY PROCEDURES IN OTHER TO REMIT THIS MONEY INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.THE CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE (FMF)EXECUTIVE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND THE SENATE COMMITTEE FOR FOREIGN OVER DUE INHERITANCE/CONTRACT FUND HAVE APPROVED AND ACCREDITED THIS REPUTABLE BANK WITH THE OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE/FOREIGN OPERATIONS,TO HANDLE AND TRANSFER ALL FOREIGN INHERITANCE/CONTRACT FUNDS THIS FIRST QUARTER PAYMENT OF THE YEAR 2011.
HOWEVER, WE SHALL PROCEED TO ISSUE ALL PAYMENTS DETAILS TO THE SAID MRS.WHITES, IF WE DO NOT HEAR FROM YOU WITHIN THE NEXT SEVEN WORKING DAYS FROM TODAY. WE ARE SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE THE DELAY IN TRANSFERRING OF THIS FUND MUST HAVE CAUSED YOU.
MALLAM. SANUSI LAMIDO AMINU SANUSI,
GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN).
CC: SENATE PRESIDENT
CC: BOARD OF DIRECTORS [FPD]
CC: ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OF NIGERIA.