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.
- 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)
- "dr. sanusi" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "www.cenbank.org" (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.
- 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)
- bank of nigeria (cbn) website: www.cenbank.org email:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com phone number:+234-8033375127 (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: " CBN BANK" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2012 05:58:45 -0800
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT OF $27, 000, 000 DOLLARS THROUGH ATM CARD.
FROM THE DESK OF:
DR. SANUSI LAMIDO SANUSI
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN)
YOUR PAYMENT OF $27, 000, 000 DOLLARS THROUGH ATM CARD..
This is to inform you that your Atm Card what of $27, 000, 000 Dollars has been approved by our federal Government and it is ready for final delivery, you are hereby inform to send down your full information where you desire to receive your Atm Card to enable us submit it to the delivery company that will deliver it to you. The following information needed is Such as below information:
1 Your Full Name:
2. Your Current Address:
3. Your Direct telephone numbers:
We are waiting to receive the motioned information to enable us submit the information and your ATM CARD to the Courier delivery company that will deliver it to you to avoid a mistake on the delivery. We are looking forward to hear from you.
Await your urgent attention to this.
Dr. Sanusi Lamido
Governor Central Bank of Nigeria.