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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "CENTRAL BANK" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 23:51:14 -0700
Subject: Your investiture needed
From the desk of:
Dr. Tunde Lemo
(Deputy Governor,Operations Directorate CBN)
Due to the delicate nature of this transaction, I strongly advise that
you do not divulge any of the information below to any party, keep
For the office I represent go to:
Re: Transfer of US$17.5million.
I am Dr. Tunde Lemo, Deputy Governor Operations Directorate Central
Bank Of Nigeria. I am pleased to contact you based on a contract,
which has been executed by a foreign firm for the Nigeria National
Petroleum Co-operation (NNPC).
I realized an accrued interest of US$17.5 million as a result of
deliberate delay on their payment and the money still reflecting in
the NNPC account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Unpaid, which
I have all the payment information and receipt to.
This contract is worth USD$215.2 million. According to records, the
contract has been executed and the money has been paid to the foreign
Being the Deputy Governor Of the Apex Bank, I feel comfortable
claiming the money for my own but I cant because I have to be a
foreigner who did contract in Nigeria. I am looking for a neutral
foreigner like you whom I will present as the foreign contractor who
executed the contract so that we will claim this accrued interest of
US$7.5 million that is left and share it accordingly.
I have already made plans that a company that will represent you will
be formed and backdated to correspond with the date on which the
original contract was executed.
One good thing about this business transaction is that all the
necessary documents that will be approved for the smooth payment of
this money will pass through my desk for final approval, this give us
a greater opportunity of getting this money.
I will also like to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free
and that you are not at any risk.
The money will be shared as follows at the successful conclusion of
this transaction: 45% for yourself as the Contractor, 50% for me as
the Initiator, and we will set aside 5% for the transfer expenses.
Yours in business,
Dr. Tunde Lemo.