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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "www.cenbank.org" (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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Godwin Emefiele <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2020 08:05:38 +0100
Subject: Re: I have a very confidential Business Proposition for you.
*Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria*
*Headquarters: Plot 33, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Way,*
*Central Business District, Cadastral Zone,*
*Federal Capital Territory, PMB 0187, Abuja Nigeria.*
*/// EMAIL: email@example.com
*Direct Telephone: +234 7014690906 /////////////*
*(BFN / CBN / 2323) Code Of Conduct (FT1004BT)*
*Website: http: //www.cenbank.org/rates/ <http://www.cenbank.org/rates/>*
*Good Day ,*
Payment Release Notice of USD$10.5M Funds.*
*I am Mr. Godwin Emefiele the Governor Central Bank Of Nigeria, I have a
very confidential Business Proposition for you. There is a said amount of
money floating in the bank unclaimed, belonging to the bank Foreign
customer who died with his family in the Ethiopian Airline crash of March
*I seek your good collaboration to move the fund for our benefit. We have
agreed that 35% be yours once you help claim, 5% for charity homes, and
then 60% for me. Do get back to with this needed information's blow: *
*(1) Your Full Name:*
*(2) Residential Address:*
*(3) Phone, Mobile:*
*(4) Scan Copy of Your ID:*
*To apply for your claims of the funds, Please such an opportunity cannot
come again, if we fail to claim this fund, another set of good people must
claim it for their personal gain Full details loading .......*
*Reply through my E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
*We operate under the GLOBAL BANKING STANDARDS. Thank you for banking with
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA.*
*Officially Sealed by,*
*Mr. Godwin Emefiele*
*GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA*
*Direct Telephone: +234 7014690906.*