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)
- "www.cenbank.org" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
Fraud email example:
From: MEFIEL <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2021 11:17:14 -0500
You Are Hereby Notified That Your Inheritance/Contract Payment Of Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Has Been Approved To Be Made To You Through Central Bank Atm Visa Master Card Or By Wire Transfer To Your Bank Account.
You Are Hereby Notified That The Payment In Question Are For Contractors Who Execute Contract With The Federal Government Of Nigeria Since The Past 8 Years That Has Not Been Paid. So We Are Having Your Name/Email On Our File.
You Are Advised To Re-Confirm To Us The Below Information
1. Full Name:
2. Phone & Fax Number:
3. Address Were the ATM Card will be posted to (P.O Box Not Acceptable)
4. Bank Coordinate:
6. Status & Occupation:
Congratulations and remain blessed.