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 beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "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" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2020 16:53:00 -0000
Subject: Re: Your payment has been order for release.
Here is a good news for you, though it may be a surprise but just last week the Central Bank of Nigeria received an order from the Federal High Court compelling us to effect your long overdue payment of $10.5Million USD to you and which must be transfer immediately by one of our money deposit bank in the United States of America, so following the order of the Court, the Central Bank Gorvernor has approved "Allied Security Finance" being one of our most reputable accredited deposit banks in United States of America to effect your payment transfer to you without delay.
Congratulations! But contact Robert Monahan of "Allied Security Finance" for your payment transfer, also note, a deposit certificate will be giving to you as evident of your payment with Allied Security Finance.
Contact them immediately for the onward processing and payment transfer to you as been stated via the email below.
Contact person: Robert Monahan
Mr. Victor Attah
"Director of Remittance Dept"