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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 6 May 2019 05:38:35 -0700
Subject: RE YOUR FUND CLAIM FROM CITIBANK OF NEW YORK
We do hereby bring to your notice that due to some irregularities and
fraudulent activities going on in Nigeria, the Presidency has ordered
the central bank of Nigeria to channel all contracts/inheritance
payments to the CITIBANK OF NEW YORK for all the concerned
beneficiaries to receive their payments without further stress.
This resolution came as a result of the fraudulent malpractices going
during the process of the concerned beneficiaries trying to receive
In view of this, you are directed henceforth to stop any further
dealings/communications with anyone in Nigeria telling you to claim
your fund here.
Your fund is now with the CITIBANK of New York. The total value of
the sum approved to be paid to all the concerned beneficiaries is
$10.5M (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only).
As one of the shortlisted beneficiaries, you should contact the
officer in charge of your payment at CITIBANK, New York on the
NAME: Patricia Brigantic
BANK: CITIBANK of New York
Contact the bank for further advise.
Please call for more details.
Dr. Julius Okere
Central bank of Nigeria.