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:
- 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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "Godwin Emefiele" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 2020 10:31:40 -0800
Subject: Good Day!
Hope this mail finds you in an excellent condition of health. I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting your long awaited CBN Contract/Inheritance/Winning funds transferred under the co-operation of a new partner from the UK. I'm presently in the UK for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. I didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to receive your funds despite that it failed somehow due to some unscrupulous staffs of the CBN. Now contact my secretary in Nigeria her name is Miss Linda Momoh and her email address is (firstname.lastname@example.org), ask her to send you the US$2,000,000.00 which I kept for your compensation for all your past efforts and attempts in trying to receive your funds. I appreciate your efforts at that time very much. So feel free and get in touch with my secretary and instruct her where to send the amount to you. Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy after all the sufferings at that time. I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which me and the new partner are having at hand. Finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to my secretary on your behalf to enable you receive the money. So feel free to get in touch with her, she will send the amount to you without any delay.
With best regards,
Governor Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).