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:
- 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:
- "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 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: "Director of Inheritance" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 1980 01:13:41 +0800
Subject: ttn: Beneficiary!...
After the indoor seminar with the IMF along with the Federal Executives Council, I was assigned by the New President Federal Republic Of Nigeria to administer all awaiting contract/Inheritance due payment. On this measure, Budget Office of the Federation (Ministry of Finance) with Central Bank of Nigeria has given mandate to pay USD$10.5million to each contractor from the Central Clearing Account, through Either ATM-Debit Card Or Diplomatic Cash Delivery.
This further explains your approved legacy will be paid to you via stipulated preferences. Therefore write to the intermediary ( Dr. Godwin Odera ) for your fund installation endorsement clearance details.
PLEASE KINDLY RE-CONFIRM YOUR INFORMATION BELOW TO PROCEED ON FIRST ASSIGNMENT:
Beneficiary’s full Name :
Full Physical Address :
Zip code :
Home and Cell # :
Dr. Godwin Odera
Director Inheritance Imbursement 2012