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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "million us 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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Central Bank of Nigeria <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2020 07:43:07 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: INSTRUCTION / WARNING FROM CENTRAL BANK.
CENTRAL BANK REMITTANCE UNIT,
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT,
CADASTRAL ZONE, ABUJA,
FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY,
CONTRACT #: MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/013,
Swift Code: BPH KPL PK,
PHONE : Phone : Call +234-9074300283
Our Ref: CBN/IRD/CBX/021/11
INSTRUCTION / WARNING FROM CENTRAL BANK.
This is to bring to your notice from the Central Bank Remittance Department that your outstanding contractual payment which was suspended by the Nigerian government there by stopping the TELEX TRANSFER DEPARTMENT to pause the transfer of your contract fund to your nominated bank account. As a result of this development verification conducted by the Finance Ministry in conjunction with the Debt Verification Panel on your contract case file has been endorsed for payment awaiting your confirmations.
In view of several efforts already made by us to contact you for the following reasons based on the new account submitted to this office on your behalf:
(1) My Office desks have just received a sworn affidavit from Mr.RAINER HESSE of Germany to re-route your payment into a new bank account number as stated VACAP Federal Credit Union, 1700 Robin Hood Road, Richmond, VA 23220. Account number 32501. of Mr. RAINER HESSE.The sum of 27 Million US Dollars ( TWENTY SEVEN MILLION US Dollars)
(2) Please, confirm to our office if you have instructed Mr. RAINER HESSE of GERMANY to appoint an attorney/agent on your behalf thereby asking that he receive cash call remittance on your behalf.
(3) It have come to our notice that you are being contacted by unauthorized individuals with respect to your contract payment but unfortunately this office is not aware of your unofficial dealings and warned that it is at your own risk.
(4) Please, also confirm if you have authorized Mr. RAINER HESSE to change your banking particulars to the following particulars stated below: VACAP Federal Credit Union, 1700 Robin Hood Road, Richmond, VA 23220. Account number 3250163 Also re-confirm your Contract Number, Contract Amount, Private Telephone and Fax number, your e-mail address, Office or home address so that we can cross-check it with our file records.
We have decided to contact you for re-verification because we suspected that Mr. RAINER HESSE is trying to divert your money through the sworn affidavit into a new different bank account. You are advised to get back to this office within 7days from today.
Executive Governor Central Bank Nigeria
For Inquiries Call +234-9074300283