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:
- 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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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)
- 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: THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 11:54:12 +0330
Subject: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION,
THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
CONTACT Our Ref: CBN/OHG/OXD1/09
Your Ref: ...............
PAYMENT FILE: CBN/BEN/09.
Definitely, I know that this letter will be a surprising one to you. Firstly,
I will like to introduce my self formally as Dr. Lamido Sanusi, The Executive
Governor of The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). I am officially contacting you
today because your Inheritance Funds were Re-deposited into the "Federal
Suspense Account" of CBN Central Bank Of Nigeria last week, because you did
not forward your Claim as the Rightful beneficiary Well known to all, The
Central Bank of Nigeria is the mother Bank of all commercial Banks here in
Nigeria. So has the singular right to carry out this delivery.
Really these men were unexpected by me because their visit was impromptu. I
had to ask them why they came to see me in person and they said that they were
here to collect the Inheritance Bill in Sum of (US$2.5M) which rightfully
belongs to you, on your behalf. In respect of your unfinished transaction
which you are unable to collect your fund.At this development I asked them who
authorized them to come down to Nigeria for the Collection of this Payment and
they told me that you asked them to come and collect this Funds on your
Behalf. In fact this was the biggest shock that this Bank have ever received
so far because your Inheritance Funds is still in the "Federal Suspense
Account" of CBN, yet you sent these men to come and collect this Funds on your
behalf without notifying us.
We in this Bank do not understand why you sent these men to come and Collect
your Funds on your behalf. If actually you want them to help you collect your
Inheritance Bill Sum, at least you should have informed me as the Executive
Governor of this Bank. They actually tendered some Vital Documents, which
proved that you actually sent them for the Collection of this Fund. Honestly,
it really baffles me that you took such decision without my consent, by and
large we still have to consider the fact that as the rightful owner of the
fund you still have your own rights too.
Here are the Documents, which they tendered to this Bank:
1. LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION.
2. HIGH COURT INJUNCTION.
3. ORDER TO RELEASE.
Actually, these Documents, which they tendered to this Noble Bank, is a clear
Proof that you sent them to Collect this Funds for you. Finally, I told them
to come back and they promised to come back. As the Governor of this Noble
Bank, I was supposed to Release this Funds to them but I refused to do so
because I wanted to hear from you first. Due to the Nature of my job, I will
not want to make any mistake in Releasing this Funds to anyone except you whom
is the Recognized Bonafide Beneficiary to this Funds.
Kindly clarify us on this issue before we make this Payment to these
foreigners whom came on your behalf. In receipt of this confidential Letter,
you are required to respond immediately to this email : with your full name,
address and phone number for reconfirmation and immediate action.
However, I want you to know that this fund will reach via bank to bank
transfer, neither by any courier nor postage because we found out that there
have been much Problems when trying to deliver this via courier services.
Moreover the transferring bank will be introduced as soon as we confirmed from
you if really you send those men to get your fund on your behalf. I also want
you to know that the only fee attach to this fund which you must have to take
of is the administrative charges and the paper work which is $175usd.So be