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:
- 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)
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "million dollars" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Richard Uba <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Richard Uba <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2014 22:19:20 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: PLEASE GET BACK TO ME URGENTLY
My name is Mr.Richard Uba, I am a director of fact finding and special duties, I am newly appointed to head the department in this Apex Bank (CBN). In pursuit, I and my two staffs of my department found out some irregularities going on, your payment with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). And we found out that you had met all the statutory requirement needed to effect transfer of your funds into your bank account. I am not happy with the way people have been extorting money from you on pretext to help you receive your Million Dollars with this bank.
I will advice you from this moment to desist from communicating with these unscrupulous elements that paraded themselves to be good innocent people, I want to let you know that if you did not desist from this bad elements, that you will continue paying your hard earned money to them and with their endless stories, requesting one certificate to another. I can assure you that since last years this their fraudulent character had started and none of them can pay you the supposed money. Note that all the money you had paid to them were used for their personal interest/ benefits, I reiterated that you should stop any further correspondence with this unbelievers.
It is a pity that this people had extorted much money from you, but I had personally introduced a device that can be possibly use to pay you all this money without any further documentation, but it must be keep secret because I want to use the method the foreign currencies do come into the country. It will be arranged through diplomatic preference carriage scheme. The Money is coming on 2 security proof boxes, the boxes are sealed with Synthetic nylon seal and padded with machine.I will first dispatch two boxes that will contained $20million of $100 bills to your private address and after receipt of the boxes and you confirm the contents from your bankers.
Then, I will send to you another batch, but I will advice that you let nobody know about this method to avoid people eyebrow. I had arranged with the courier company, the company had agreed to dispatch the boxes, but I did not tell them the original contents because the courier companies do not carry physical cash for dispatch, whatÂ will declare to them as the contents of the boxes is sensitive films and film materials, so that the company will not request for physical inspections because the films material does not require sunrays or contact with air.
I will finally conclude with the courier company, when I receive your go ahead order, please kindly stop any further discussion with these people and do not pay any more money to them or to those called themselves bank officials. I will furnish you with more informationâs as soon as I receive your go ahead order, that you will compensate me and my colleagueâs with the sum of $2,000,000.00 dollars. For your information, the courier will charge us for delivery and we have to pay them before the delivery.
I wait to hearing from you