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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned 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: "Dr. Okwu Joseph Nnanna" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2016 23:54:04 +0100
Subject: Re - Did you permit the Change of Fund Ownership
Re - Change of Funds Ownership.
This is to bring to your notice that the President of Republic of
Nigeria,President Muhammadu Buhari has constituted a 10 man investigative
Panel and foreign Debts reconciliation committee, which I am the Chairman of
the presidential committee saddled with the responsibility to investigate all
the banks here in Nigeria, who has trapped and held beneficiaries
Compensation/inheritance/NNPC contract Fund claims unpaid.
to settle all the Foreign debt after his recent visit & meeting with the
American President Barack Obama of United States and other officials of the
United Nation to enable him give a zero tolerance to corruption in his
regime.I am solely in charge of all foreign payments. At the commencement of
my official responsibility geared towards payment to foreign beneficiaries. I
received a letter that your unclaimed approved payment by the Central Bank of
Nigeria which has been overdue for payment should now be paid to Lawrence R.
Larson of 7251 Grove Road, Apt. 160, Brooksville,
Florida 34613 U.S.A.
In the said letter titled change of beneficiary/ownership. Its clearly stated
that you are dead and that he is your next of kin, it went further to say you
signed a deed and an agreement with Lawrence R. Larson to become your
beneficiary before your untimely death. Officially arrangement had been
concluded for the approved funds transfer into the account below.
Name of Bank: TEXAS CHAMPION BANK
Bank Address: 6124 S. Staples, Corpus Christi, Texas 78413 U.S.A.
Routing Number: 114914723
Account Number: 909009245
Account Name: Lawrence R. Larson
Account Address: 7251 Grove Road, Apt. 160, Brooksville, Florida 34613 U.S.A.
But because of the elaborate global scam, I decided to contact you first for
confirmation before transferring the funds and if after seven working days, no
response is received from you, it will be assumed that you are dead and as
such authorization and approval will be granted on behalf of Lawrence R.
Larson to claim/receive your fund.
But if you are well and alive then confirm this letter and reconfirm your
Information and how you want your said fund to be paid to you without further
delay. Send your responses to me immediately by email.
Below is the information you are expected to re-confirm.
Date of Birth:
Home Phone No:................. Office Phone No.................... Cell
Driver's license or any copy of Your Identity:
Please feel free to contact me here only for further clarifications regarding
Dr. Okwu Joseph Nnanna
Financial System Stability
Central Bank of Nigeria