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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "transfer of your funds" (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.
- 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)
- tinubu square, lagos tel: 234-1-792 4002 email. firstname.lastname@example.org date: 12/4/2012 good day beneficiary, my name is mr. (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: martin wilcox <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 01:11:13 +0100 (BST)
Subject: GOOD NEWS ON YOUR CONTRACT SUM. FROM MR. JOHN OMEDE. (CHIEF SECURITY & INVESTIGATION OFFICER).
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
(Security & Investigation Department)
Tinubu Square, Lagos
Tel: 234-1-792 4002
Good Day Beneficiary,
My name is Mr. John Omede; I am Chief Security & Investigation Officer of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. I have been priviledge to see your file several times in this department but transfer has been hampered due to irregularities in the release documentations. Also due to security reason, i have to contact you with this email.
I have envisages that it will be easier for am elephant to pass through the eyes of a needle that your funds to be transferred out of this country. And having considered the fact that you must have spent quite a fortune to no avail, I decided to take the bull by the horn.
WHAT AM I SAYING?
On the 25th May 2005, I advised the telex programmer of the CBN to effect the transfer of your funds out of our bank to our international Bank of Settlement, The Royal Bank of Scotland, LONDON. It is our considered opinion that your fund is safer out of Nigeria to a country and bank of international repute. In the telex Advise forwarded along with the remittance, we advised the Royal Bank of Scotland PLC, london that they would identify you when you contact them by quoting the Telex Remittance Number CBN485ZNG
The officer to contact in Royal Bank of Scotland Plc is Mr. Penny Hughes (Executive Director) on Tel +44 787 228 2420. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In your email to them, please quote the Telex Remittance Number CBN485ZNG to enable easy sorting. I would also want you to contact me on my private email address: email@example.com or call me 234-7055 313971. When we discuss, I will indicate to you my terms for helping.
MR. JOHN OMEDE
CHIEF SECURITY/INVERSTIGATION OFFICER