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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "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: "Dr.Abel Uchendu" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 18:12:49 -0700
Subject: RE: CODE NUMBER (C.B.N/2011)
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
TINUBU SQUARE VICTORIA
ISLAND LAGOS NIGERIA
[OFFICE OF THE PAY MASTER]
Our Ref: CBN/IRD/CBX/021/11
IMMEDIATE PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
RE: CODE NUMBER (C.B.N/2011)
THIS IS TO INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE BEEN MONITORING YOUR PAYMENT FOR A VERY LONG TIME AND AS AT TODAY , WE DISCOVERED THAT YOU WERE MISLEAD BY SOME OFFICERS WHO TOOK ADVANTAGE OF YOU AS A RESULT OF DEMANDING ONE PAYMENT AFTER ANOTHER FROM YOU INSTEAD OF RELEASING YOUR FUND TO YOU. AT THE MOMENT , WE HAVE RECALLED BACK YOUR PAYMENT FILE TO THIS OFFICE SINCE LAST WEEK AND IT IS NOW ON MY DESK AS I AM WRITING THIS MESSAGE TO YOU .
YOU ARE WARNED TO STOP FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ANYBODY IN RESPECT OF YOUR PAYMENT WITH EFFECT FROM TODAY IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND SUCCESSFULLY WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY . YOUR PAYMENT FILE IS RIGHT HERE WITH US AND WE HAVE ARE SET TO COMPLETE YOUR PAYMENT IMMEDIATELY AS INSTRUCTED BY CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA DR.ABEL UCHENDU AND THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE, WHO HAS APPROVED THE SUM OF $1 BILLION DOLLARS ONLY, TO BE SHARED AMONG THE AFFECTED SCAM VICTIMS AROUND THE GLOBE.
NOTE THAT WE HAVE BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT $500,000 (FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS ONLY) AS A PART PAYMENT TO YOU FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR 2011 . IF YOU WILL LIKE TO RECIEVE YOUR FUND THIS WEEK LET US KNOW IMMEDIATELY BY CONTACTING ME UPON THE RECEIPT OF THIS MAIL WITH THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION NAMES, ADDRESS, SEX, AGE, OCCUPATION AND YOUR PHONE NUMBER.
WHILE WE ADVISE YOU TO STOP FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ANYBODY WITH EFFECT FROM TODAY NO MATTER WHAT THE PERSON MIGHT CLAIM TO BE SO THAT YOU DONT LOST YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY TO IMPOSTORS.
WE HEREBY ISSUE YOU OUR CODE OF CONDUCT, WHICH IS (C.B.N/2011) SO YOU HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN CONTACTING US BY USING IT AS YOUR SUBJECT BECAUSE OF IMPOSTORS. PLEASE FORWARD YOUR DETAILS TO THIS E-MAIL:
(Pay master Central Bank Of Nigeria)