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: "**Central Bank ATM Unit**" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 12:47:40 +0200
Subject: Ref: $12.5 Million;- ATM CARD PAYMENT,,,
This is the 3rd attempt to harmonize your payment of $12.5 Million being long withheld by these government officials in West Africa.
Due to the stringent monetary policies in foreign countries, in another meeting concluded yesterday evening in London, the Financial Fraud Action organization (FinFa) has once again resolved that we ensure that your long withheld contract / inheritance sum of $12.5 Million be released to you by issuing a Debit (ATM) card for both cash download and purchases at POS.This proposed ATM card is on a MasterCard operating chips which is acceptable in any ATM machine worldwise for cash withdrawals, online purchases and payment on Point Of Sales (P.O.S).
Your Debit MasterCard (ATM) card will be issued by the KeyStone Bank PLC as ordered by the authorities.
We are still here to guide and ensure that this is concluded without hitches. This payment conclusion cannot be actualized without your maximum co-operation. As far as we are here to protect your interest, no charges and duties whatsoever is required from you before you receive what rightfully belongs to you.
You must seize this opportunity by replying to my email ASAP for further guidance, assurance and clarification.
Ensure that you reconfirm both your DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER as well as your NAME and ADDRESS to ensure you are the rightful beneficiary.
Luke Johnson Iwe
Debit Card Settlement Unit
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)