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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "DADA" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 08:34:02 -0700
Subject: Re Payment
>From the desk of:
Hon Usman Dada
Director Debt reconciliation
Upon the review and recent adjustment on the foreign payment policy ofthe federal government of Nigeria regarding the settlement on all outstanding
contract/inheritance/Lotto payments formerly scheduled and programmed for payment through cash delivery (diplomatic means) Telegraphic
Transfer/Automated Teller Machine (ATM)/Certified Bank Draft or any local bank here in Nigeria, all various offshore payment offices around the world,
we hereby write to advise you/all affected beneficiaries, in the light of the aforementioned.
All payments originally/previously scheduled before through local bank, offshore offices have been cancelled and recalled forth-with as directed by the
office of the presidency, all international payment will be handle by the paying bank in your country only, any beneficiary who fail to abide the rules and
regulations guiding this payment policy will regret it. The Central Bank has instructed, by office of the presidency (Dr.Good luck Ebele Jonathan) to reach
all the affected beneficiaries to know why they have not received their fund based on the close door meeting held with USA President,Mr.Barack Obama
during world summit meeting held with G12 in America. Note that all contract/inheritance/Lotto payment files in respect of such payments have been
referred and forwarded to this office for immediate attention. This development came as a result of anomalies and poor payment handling reported/
observed by past government and some local banks which invariably is having its ugly toll on the Nigerian economy. Due to your bad experiences with the
previous arrangements by the past regime, the new president (Dr.Good luck Ebele Jonathan) has made fresh arrangements with the Central Bank and
international Communities because of the Global economic crisis in the whole World to make all payments via the above mode of payment chose by the
Beneficiary without any further delay. All affected beneficiaries will be communicating directly to Officer in charge Rev. Peter E. Brown Central Bank of
Tele-phone no: 2348076864822 E-mail:(firstname.lastname@example.org)
for screening before payment and make sure you call him immediately you receive this email. From our observations, it appears you have been wasting
your hard-earned money on group of individuals who fraudulently ask you to pay certain amount of fees in order to release your payment.
Please henceforth, you should stop any further contacts with them and from your reliable sources; you have made several payments to fraudsters who
impersonate themselves as holding important governmental position. I want to advise you in your own interest to desist from such acts, which will not
yield any fruitful results to you but rather ruined you more.
Note: that this office has been appointed to carry out these duties as the federal government of Nigeria is keen in stamping out corruption and corrupt
officials in all federal establishments, in this case you are advised to stop any further communication with any other bank or individual in respect of your
payment to enable us have a successful conclusion at the end. You are required to re-confirm your information to this office immediately. Your full
name/Address/ telephone and fax /receiving banking co-ordinates.
Note; Once you contact Rev Peter E. Brown, he will demand a payment receipt of us$420 for the screening and administrative charges, you are advised to
make the payment directly to the receiving officer in charge, Name John Ezeh, address ,Nigeria text question , Purpose , answer , Admin. note that you
can still make the payment directly to the receiving agent in your country, where they are going to pay you, so if you wish to pay in your country, then let the Rev knows that you want to pay in your country, once you call him, he will signal the paying bank in your country, for further crediting to yournominated bank account, Congratulation.
Hon. Usman Dada
Director Debt reconciliation