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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Central Bank of Nigeria" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 11:33:40 +0100
My name is Sanusi Lamido, Governor Central Bank of Nigeria. We have just receive a sworn affidavit from Jerome F. Karlz of united States of America that you are dead,and that you signed a deed agreement with him to divert your contractual fund $48.3m.
Your immediate presence is needed here in Nigeria to sign the fund release document at the office of the president Federal Republic of Nigeria for final approval of your fund for wire transfer.
For documentation and records, kindly forward the below information
1. Your full name:
2. Your Contact address
3. Your contact cell phone number:
4. Your age:
5. Your sex:
6. Your occupations:
7. Your country and city:
I await your response
Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria