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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Mrs Blessing Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2020 20:09:02 +0800
Subject: Re: Exchange Of Account / Are You Aware ??? 30-01-20
Telex Wire Transfer Department,
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Plot 33, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Way,
Tinubu-Squre ¡V Lagos Nigeria.
Fax : 234-1-5851427
Exchange Of Account / Are You Aware ???
DID YOU AUTHORIZE Mr. William, A Thurman FOR THE CHANGE OF ACCOUNT TO
YOUR PAYMENT FILE?
See bellow as prove of the acct info he gave to us:
Bank Name: CHASE BANK
Bank address: 27888 Santa Margarita Parkway,
Mission Viejo, California 92691 USA
Name on Account William, A Thurman
Account Number 466 99 4147
Swift/ABA #:CHAS US 33
Please if you did not authorize this person to have claim over your
fund, kindly get back to this office immediately to enable us carry on
with your fund immediate transfer to your local bank account or wire
it through valid (SWIFT ATM CARD) which will take this office 48hrs to
deliver this (ATM CARD) to you as soon as we hear from you.
AND IN CASE IF YOU STILL DOUBT.
Track these numbers bellow through DHL to confirm the
delivery of the ATM Cards delivered to other beneficiary:
Tracking site: http:///www.dhl.com
So, If you are willing to receive your part payment of $2.5Million
through ATM Card like others did, then quickly provide your data in
the below order for the processing and shipment of your ATM Card to
And you are also advised to place a call or text on me immediately you finish
reading this e-mail.
Dr (Mrs) Blessing Williams
Telex Wire Transfer Department
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
Tinubu-Squre ¡V Lagos Nigeria
Fax : 234-1-5851427