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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "transfer into your 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)
- "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:
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 2020 15:26:01 +0000
Subject: Your Urgent Attention Needed...
To fill it in, visit:
This is the proof or origin of US$15.5 Million coming to you. There was an
over-invoiced contract claim payment US$31 Million originated from a French
Company; Boughes International of France. Both the past Governor of
Central Bank of Nigeria (Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) and present Governor,
Mr. Godwin Emefiele did not know that the over-invoiced contract amount
US$31 Million was intentionally assigned or designated to a French Company;
Boughes International of France.
This Company, Boughes International of France has been duly paid half of
the agreed contract amount US$15.5 Million. A contract of Laying Pipeline,
Turbines Supply and Installation in Escravos and Forcados linking up Kaduna
Refinery to Nasarawa State, which was awarded to Boughes International of
I contacted you to change the ownership of remaining US$15.5 Million in the
Treasury to your name as a real claimant or beneficiary. As Deputy
Governor, I and my colleagues at Central Bank of Nigeria had knowledge of
US$15.5 Million kept in the Treasury waiting for wire transfer into your
account for our benefits. All the required documents related to Anti-drug,
Money Laundering and Terrorism are in place and will move with the wire.
As soon as you respond I will forward documents relating to origin of funds
coming to you and copy of my ID.
I am waiting for your response as soon as possible.
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