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: "Dr Mrs. Juliet A. Madubueze" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2012 00:11:33 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
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 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-payment
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 Nigeria.
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 ($5,000.00) 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 infomtions .
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.Leo Joshua 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
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)