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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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)
- central bank of west africa states e-mail:email@example.com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: National Assembly <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 16:25:55 +0100
Subject: A TOP SECRET IN MY OFFICE (REPLY)
FROM: MR. JOESF KONNAN BANNI.
I am ï¿½JOSEF KONNAN BANNI, the director of foreign exchange auditing and
accounting department of the Central Bank of West Africa States. I would like
you to indicate your interest to receive the sum of US$18,500,000.00 on our
behalf for our mutual benefits. This fund emanated from over invoiced contract
sum from the Federal Ministry of Aviation, of which the contract has been
commissioned and the executor of the contract has been paid off. It is the
over-invoiced of US$18,500,000.00 that Iï¿½ and my colleague in the
office want to
use our position in the bank to process and transfer into your private or your
company bank account.
If you have agreed to collaborate with us in this transaction, please
us the beneath information, so that we obtain the Proof of Fund Ownership
Certificate and other relevant document in your name as the beneficiary of the
1. Your Full Names.
2. Your Contact Phone Number.
5. Your Occupation.
6. Your Contact Address.
7. Copy of Your Mark of Identification (Driverï¿½s License or International
We have agreed to share the fund with you according to the agreed percentage,
25% of the total fund for you, 5% is set aside to cover any expenses from your
side while the remaining 70% would be for me and my colleague who are directly
involved in this deal. Please feel free to send the above stated information
because we will destroy every document that will lead to the trace of the fund
to you at the end of the transaction. Our share of the fund we would like to
use to import finish product from your country and resale it to make profit or
alternative to invest into any profitable joint business venture in
with you as the overseer of the business.
Thank in anticipation of your co-operations and God bless you.
Josef Konnan Banni.
Foreign Operation Department
Central Bank of West Africa States