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:
- 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:
- ",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)
- "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: CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2016 22:56:53 -0400
Subject: RE: .PAYMENT OF YOUR FUND
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
14th Floor 51/55 Broad Street,P.M.B 12147Lagos-Nigeria
We apologize to you over the delay to transfer your part payment of inheritance/Compensation fund valued at $5.5M USD into your nominated receiving bank account.
Meanwhile the transfer arrangements of yourcompensation/Inheritancefund valued at $5,500,000.00 was perfected after the Minister of Finance presented thenew bank account normalization letter from Minister of Justice. I will immediately forward the telex report of the transfer to you before thefund will reflect on your account immediately without any waste oftime as you will also confirm this in your own account.
However, your compensation payment file withother legal documents backing this fund has been forwarded to theNigeria Ministry Of Finance and the United Nations Affiliate office in Nigeria for the final approval, And we shall proceed with the transfer immediately we hear from you because we were mandated to transfer this fund to you as one of the beneficiary whom the namewas listed in the World Bank foreign debts settlement/compensation payment file.
Kindly provide us the following information to enable us proceed with the transfer of the fund to your bank account.
Valid Phone number............
Any Of Your Identity Card........
We look forward to read from you as soon as possible
Please through this email...email@example.com
Mr. Mohammed Hamed
Deputy Governor And
Director, Telex & Wire Dept
Central Bank of Nigeria