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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss Anita Ogah" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2018 03:50:20 -0700
Subject: Your Unpaid Funds.
Hello Dear ,
I am Miss Anita Ogah. A computer scientist with central bank of Nigeria. I
am 26 years old, just started work with C.B.N. I came across your file
which was marked X and your released disk painted RED, I took time to
study it and found out that you have paid VIRTUALLY all fees and
certificate but the fund has not been release to you. The most
annoying thing is that they cannot tell you the truth that on no
account wills they ever release the fund to you; instead they let you
spend money unnecessarily.
I do not intend to work here all the days of my life, I can release
this fund to you if you can certify me of my security, and how I can
run away from this Nigeria if I do this, because if I don't run away
from this country after I made the transfer, I will be Seriously in
trouble and my life will be in danger.
This is like a Mafia setting in Nigeria; you may not understand it
because you are not a Nigerian. The only thing I will need from you to
release this fund is a special HARD DISK we call it HD140 GIG.I will
need two of this hard disk to recopy your information from the
corrupted one, destroy the previous one, and punch the computer to
reflect in your bank within 24 banking hours.
I will clean up the tracer and destroy your file, after which I will
run away from Nigeria to meet with you. If you are interested. Do get
in touch with me immediately, You should send to me your convenient
tell/fax numbers for easy communications and also re confirm your
banking details, so that there won't be any mistake.
Miss Anita Ogah