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:
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Tunde Lemo." <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 21:50:08 +0600 (BDT)
Subject: I CONTACTED YOU AFTER A SERIOUS THOUGHT.
After serious thoughts, my decision to contact you personally became
urgent, since I have no grudge against you, other than your Nigerian
partners. I happen to be the Deputy Governor of Central Bank of
Nigeria(CBN) in charge of Operations.
Sometime ago, your partners approached me through a contact who works with
one of the ministries here with a request to assist them conclude a
transfer deal which required programming a transfer on your behalf.
What I gathered, is they wanted to use my position and office to
strategically transfer a sum; which has been supposedly dormant in the CBN
suspense account for quite a while. Our agreement was that I make this
happen and be rewarded with one hundred thousand initial advance payment
and another one hundred thousand when I finally release to your nominated
account. Having successfully programmed the transfer as agreed and your
name approved amongst the list of contractors/recipients/beneficiaries to
be paid for that period, the story changed and instead of standing by our
agreed arrangements, they employed an avoidance tactic and then resorted
to threats. Well, that prompted my decision to immediately delete the
transfer code, but released other payments as listed, excluding yours.
This resulted to several threatening calls which did not scare me though
and then they started making frantic efforts to bribing other officials to
get another approval to the transfer to you, but without success. I
however take 100 percent responsibility for the delay and obstructions,
because of their breach of agreement and trust. If you have doubts as to
this privileged information, then consider what has transpired through the
entire course of your claim process, they continue to ask you to pay one
charge or the other and at the end no results and they continue to tell
you to send another fee with yet no results. In very simple words, I can
only say that they are just wicked. Now if you want us to work
together,these are my conditions:
1: I will be entitled to twenty percent of the total sum, since it's just
both of us left in the matter.
2: You will assist my son with opening an account in your domain where I
will transfer my share.
3: It will be useless and mere waste of time and resources if you continue
with any other person. So well conclude this process with the utmost of
secrecy using only the included telephone and email details as provided.
4: You will provide me your direct telephone, mobile and your private
email to facilitate easy communication between you and I.
If you find these conditions acceptable, contact me at your earliest
convenience to have us finalize arrangements, so the transfer can be
released to your nominated account after completion of the mandatory
protocols. However, in case you're not interested, then I strongly advice
you jettison the idea of receiving your funds and stop wasting your time
with your so called partners. Your prompt response via my private and
direct email is anticipated:
Tunde O. Lemo.
(Deputy Governor, Operations - CBN).