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)
- 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 <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2019 06:07:05 -0700
Subject: RE: PLEASE RESPOND URGENTLY
I write to bring to your notice that I have been appointed to be the
new Foreign remittance officer of Central Bank Of Nigeria in charge of
all over-due contracts/inheritance payments.
In view of this, I want to let you know that the total sum that has
been approved to pay to you is USD$35.5M (Thirty Five Million Five
Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only). I have been mandated to
ensure all concerned beneficiaries receive their funds.
In furtherance of this, I want to assure you that I will be the one to
take care of all the expenses that will be involved to make sure this
fund gets into your
account. The only thing the you will do as the beneficiary is to
write a promissory note stating that on confirmation of this fund
into your nominated account, that you will part 20% of this total fund
to me which you will have to sign and send a copy to me to legalize it
at the court.
Note that you will only pay for the legalization of this letter at the
court which will cost you the sum of $280 ONLY.On acceptance of this
term, you shoul forward your full information to me for the processing
of your fund payment.
On the contrary, if you are not interested or ready to adhere to this
instruction, please you should not bother to reply this mail.I am only
doing this to boost your chance of receiving your over-due fund
without much stress.
Note that once you have forwarded your information you are advised to
call me so that I will facilitate the payment so that you receive it
before our upcoming election in February this year.
You are to call me on the following number: +234-9026276537.
I am awaiting your urgent response before I proceed.