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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Cbn" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2018 10:24:01 -0700
Subject: CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Zaria Street, Off Samuel Akintola
Street,Garki 11, Garki-Abuja.
Our Ref: FGN/CBN/NIG/06/2016.
>From The Desk Of Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
Dear Friend ,
I wish to use this medium to inform you that your CONTRACT/INHERITANCE Payment
of USED$10,500,000.00 (Ten Million Five Hundred United States Dollars) as confirmed to be duly executed with the NNPC
is now RELEASED and APPROVED for onward payment to you through your preferred method of receiving it.
More importantly, be advised to reply to this email as quickly as possible to enable us proceed with the formal procedures and ensure your fund release takes it's final step with the next 64 hours from now..
We are very sorry for the plight you have gone in the past years.
Thanks for adhering to this instruction and once again accept our heart felt apology
Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).