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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "card center will send you an atm card" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "million 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)
- "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)
- "abuja" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Central Bank OF nIGERIA" <firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2012 09:58:35 -0300 (GMT+3)
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary ,
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
VERIFICATION OF CLAIM CONTRACT/INHERITANCE
Central Bank of Nigeria
Head Office Complex,
Central Business District
Abuja FCT. - Nigeria.
>From The Desk Of:
Dr. Mrs. Juliet A. Madubueze
Attention: Beneficiary ,
I am Mrs. Juliet Helen. Madubueze , Board Member of Central Bank Of
Nigeria (C.B.N) I am Instructed to officially inform you that we have
verified your contract/ inheritance file and the Executive Chairman of
"E.C.D.R".I discovered that your name and email address (in the Central
Computer among the list of unpaid contractors, inheritance next of kin and
lotto beneficiaries that was originated from Africa (Nigerian Government)
Europe, Asia Plus Middle east,Americans) among the list of individuals and
companies that your unpaid fund has been located to a suspense account.
Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a part-paymen
Right now we have arranged your payment through our SWIFT CARD PAYMENT
CENTRE from European Union, which is the latest instruction from the new
elected president Mr. Goodluck Jonathan (GCFR) Federal Republic of
This card center will send you an ATM card, which you will use to withdraw
your money in any ATM machine in any part of the world, but the maximum is
Ten Thousand United States Dollars ($10,000.00) per day. So if you like to
receive your fund in this way, please let us know and send the following
information as listed below :or if you wish to recive your payment via
bank to bank transfer , you will as well send to me your banking
1. Full name
2. Phone and fax number
3. Address were you want them to send the ATM card to
4. Your age and current occupation.
We will forward your information to the director of ATM CARD payment
officer Chief Dr. Joshua Omuya and the executive GOVERNOR Dr. Lamido
Sanusi (Board Member) upon our receipt of the above information. Or you
can call him. This is his direct phone number: +234-8022-927-449
Note that the ATM card payment center was mandated to issue out
$8000.000,00 Eight Million US Dollars as your payment for this fiscal year
2012 to you, so bear with us.
We anticipate your total compliance to this message immediately.
Dr Mrs. Juliet A. Madubueze
(CBN Board Member)