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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Godwin Emefiele," <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2017 13:41:12 +0800
Subject: RE: DELAYED PAYMENT..
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR,
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN),
LAGOS - NIGERIA.
direct line: +234 818 084 7702.
RE: DELAYED PAYMENT..
A team of Auditors set up by the Presidency, Foreign Contract Payment commission has discovered an outstanding payment due to you by one of the banks here and has reported it to our bank for immediate action. Our bank has called for reasons for non-payment and was informed that you were unable to pay the statutory charges, and that there are counter claims on this same money.
Presently there are two different interest groups known to be lobbying for the payment of this money into two different accounts and we do not know which of these groups is truly representing you. You are therefore required to confirm to us in reply to this mail which of the groups is your true representative, if any.
You are also advised to be wary of anybody that promises to help you get your money. You do not need any special assistance to receive your money, especially now that the Presidency has restated her resolve to adhere strictly to the mode of payment stipulated in the Anti Corruption Bill (ACB).
There will be no incredible and unofficial methods of payment in this case. The system of settling debts in Nigeria is the same as in your country and anywhere in the world. We oblige you to suspend any legal action you have considered taking against the bank or individual/s or the Government of Nigeria because of the delay. Answering the following questions will help our bank to facilitate your payment:
1. What problem are you having in receiving your money?
2. Do you owe any Bank, company, persons, or group of persons in Nigeria.Henceforth, get clarification from the undermentioned officer before contacting any other office or person in this matter. Note that your local representative/s may not be welcomed by our bank to avoid further complications.
While thanking you for your endurance till now,we promise to fulfill our part as early as we get your respond to this letter and also take the right steps.
Mr. Godwin Emefiele,
Governor,Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),
+234 818 084 7702.