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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Susan Mensah" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 00:54:26 -0700
Subject: Urgent Respond Needed..
My Dear Friend,
I am Ms.Susan Mensah Citizen of Ghana, a Computer Analyst in Central Bank of Nigeria. I am 32 years old, just started working with Central Bank of Nigeria. (C.B.N.) my dear, I came across your payment software which was marked X and your fund release Hard Disk painted RED too, I took my time to study it and found out that you have really attempted to receive your fund but the fund has not been release to you. The most annoying thing is that the directors and top officials of this nation cannot tell you the truth that on no account will they ever release the fund to you; instead they let you spend money unnecessarily.
I swear with my life that I do not intend to work here all the days of my life, I can release this fund to you if you can certify me of my security and how I can meet with you in your country from Nigeria if I successfully wire the money to you, I cannot run back to my country as they have all my information. And if I don't run away from this country after I made the transfer to your bank account, I will be seriously in trouble and my life may be in danger because they want to be demanding money from you all the time.
The only thing required to get the fund release to you is a special HARD DISK, we call it HD120 GIG. I will buy two of it, recopy your payment information, destroy the previous one, and punch the computer to reflect in your bank account within48 banking hours. I will clean up the tracer and destroy your file, this will be done without the sort code and IBAN #, after which I will resign from here and meet with you in your country if you are interested. But you must assure me the absolute confidentiality of this deal before I can do any further.
Do get in touch with me immediately.
If you assure me of my security, you should reconfirm your current information as follows,
Your Full Names:-
Current Home Address:-
Current Telephone Numbers for easy communication:-
Active Bank Details where you want the fund to be transferred into:-
Ms. Susan Mensah
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)