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:
- "million united state 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- tel :+234 7760868 cel:234 7060544554 email :-(email@example.com) contract #: mav/nnpc/fgn/min/009, our (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: " CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 29 May 2012 17:14:56 +0800
Subject: IMMEDIATE CONTRACT PAYMENT OF US42M NOTIFICATION.
CENTRAL BANK OFNIGERIA INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE OFFICE LAGOS NIGERIA
TEL :+234 7760868
CEL:234 7060544554 EMAIL :-(firstname.lastname@example.org)
CONTRACT #: MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/009,
IMMEDIATE CONTRACT PAYMENT OF US42M NOTIFICATION
ATTENTION: HONORABLE CONTRACTOR
LAST QUARTER PAYMENT NOTIFICATION ADVICE OF THE YEAR.
IN OUR RESPONSE TO INSTRUCTION FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA TO RELEASE AND PAY ALL FOREIGN CONTRACT FUNDS TO THEIR
BENEFICIARIES, I THE NEW GOVERNOR OF CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA ON THIS DAY ISSUED THE RELEASE OF YOUR FORTY TWO MILLION UNITED STATE
DOLLARS (USD42,000,000.00) CONTRACT PAYMENT BY CLASSIFIED BANK DRAFT.AS A MATTER OF URGENCY, YOU ARE HEREBY ADVISED TO CONTACT
DR. MRS.SANDRA FORDS .AT THE INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT OF CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA FOR THE MAILING OF YOUR DRAFT.
CONTACT HER VIA EMAIL: (email@example.com). IN LINE WITH THIS DEVELOPMENT,A DRAFT PAYMENT COVERING YOUR (USD42, 000,000.00.)
CONTRACT SUM HAS BEEN RAISED IN YOUR FAVOUR TO BE DRAWN FROM CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA OFF SHORE ACCOUNT IN AMERICA AND EUROPE.
SECURITY NO: BECAUSE OF THE INHERENT COMMUNICATION PROBLEM IN NIGERIA ON EMAIL ADDRESS AND FORWARD YOUR ADDRESS WHERE YOU
WOULD LIKE THE DRAFT TO BE SENT TO AND YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBERS.
BE WARNED, YOU SHOULD AVOID AND PREVENT ANY THING THAT CAN CAUSE UNNECESSARY DELAY,AS THIS MAY BE THE LAST OPPORTUNITY FOR
YOU TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT,HENCE ALL YOUR PAST EFFORTS AND CONTACTS HAVE FAILED YOU.
Also re-confirm to me the followings:1) Your full name...Phone, fax and mobile #.
GOVERNOR,CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN)