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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Suleiman Barau" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2017 08:28:21 -0700
Subject: I contacted you after a serious thought.
After a serious thought i decided to contact you because i know you were not told the truth from the beginning of this claim, that is why you have not been able to receive your over due payment. I am Suleiman Barau, the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Central bank Federal Republic of Nigeria. I over heard the new Finance Minister along with some of your partners discussing to divert your overdue funds to a Swiss bank account. I considered it very necessary to let you know about it, so you can work with me and have this your funds processed and transferred in to your bank account. Get back to me for directives on how we will immediately stop this evil plan of the Finance Minister.
The Governor must not know i am working with you.The only document holding the release of your funds is the TC1 FORM, and the 9 pages classified transfer document that must be endorsed by you only, and return back to me so i can process the transfer through the Central Bank Nigeria. I am very convinced that you were not told this before, I want to let you know that once the TC1 FORM is procured and 9 pages transfer document endorsed, then consider your funds already released to any bank account of your choice, or any payment option you deemed fit to receive your funds.
Once you indicate your interest to work with me, i will give you step by step directives on how we will go about the process of transferring this funds to your nominated bank account,without any more delay,or better still through ATM Card payment system under 72 hours upon the receipt of the above requested information.
I await your early reply.
Deputy Governor, Corporate Services.