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:
- "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 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. CHUKS CYRIL" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 5 May 2014 03:29:06 +0100
Subject: YOUR FUND IS READY TO BE TRANSFER INTO YOUR ACCOUNT NOW
My name is Mr Chuks Cyril , am very happy to inform you about my
success in getting my Fund transferred into my bank account with a
help of one (MRS. HELEN SPENCER ) secretary of ( CENTRAL BANK OF
I did not forget all the efforts and expenses you made in the past.
Now I want you to contact her with your information to enable them
open an online account for you and wire your money into the account
where you can transfer it into your personal account because i have
told them about you and they ask me to contact you and inform you
about it because they have been waiting for you for some months now.
Here is her contact
Contact Information of the Bank.
BANK NAME: CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
CONTACT E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT PERSON: MRS. HELEN SPENCER.
CONTACT PHONE: +2348026812825
I want you to fill out this information and send it to her.
Your full name______
Your Phone number___
Note that if you did not send her the above information complete, she
will not be able to open your online account because she has to be
sure that it is you.
Mr. Chuks Cyril