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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2017 16:50:41 -0500
Subject: Dear Fund Beneficiary 83. w n rd
Dear Fund Beneficiary,
After our meeting of today with the President Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the Federal Executive councils, It was Resolved and Agreed upon that your Inheritance/Contract Funds of $10.5M (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).
Would be released to you on a special method of payment which the tag Name Reads "SWIFT PAYMENT" Such as KTT, Bank to Bank Wire Transfer or ATM. You are advised to send to us YOUR NAME, ADDRESS, OCCUPATION, AGE, and NEXT OF KIN. PHONE AND FAX NUMBERS TO CLAIM YOUR FUND I wait to hear from you along with the above mentioned information.
Dr Ben Afolabi
Central Bank Of Nigeria
REPLY ONLY TO THIS EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
AND CALL ME +2349076417944