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:
- "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: "MR GODSWILL OBINNA" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 07:30:57 -0600
Subject: Transaction Report
Reference to the letter of nomination forwarded to us this morning by the
Debt Recovery Committee regarding your payment on your name and your email
address , our foreign payment operations have reviewed the allocation for
further credit to your new changed nominated account as stated below.
NAME: MR. BROOK MARK
BANK NAME: BANK OF AMERICA
ACCOUNT NAME: MOLONEY ACCESS GROUP INC,
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 6503809428
ROUTING NUMBER: 212080001
SWIFT CODE: WPACVUVX
BANK ADDRESS: 515 East 15th Street NJ (USA)
However, your information as provided above have been posted to our
operational transfer room with instructions for transfer of your
allocation into your nominated account. Please get back as soon as
possible for any further change, quoting the above file reference number
and within 48hrs as no change of information will be effected after
transfer of funds.
For any further inquiry please contact the undersigned officer immediately
as funds will be retrieved to treasury after ten (10) business days of
Thank you for your continued patronage.
Again, thank you for making use of our bank for your financial services.
MR GODSWILL OBINNA
Head Foreign Operations,Department
Central Bank of Nigeria