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:
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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: "Godwin Emefiele" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 18 May 2017 05:42:48 -0700
Subject: ***SPAM*** Attn:Beneficiary,Our official code: (813)
Our official code: (813)
With due respect , We acknowledge receipt of memo content thank you, listen my friend the federal government of Nigeria have mandate central bank of Nigeria to issued you a Bank certified check or Atm Card hope is ok by you it is revealed that your email is among the list of people who have never received any of their payments among lottery, inheritance, compensation and awarded contract funds and victims who have lost a lot of money to scammers while trying to claim their funds please reconfirm your Full Name, Address and telephone number is very important and urgent.
We await your co-operation.
Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
Central Bank of Nigeria