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:
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "card center will send you an atm card" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Geoffrey Jideofor Kwusike Onyeama, CFR" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Jan 2021 22:41:39 +0100
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary,
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your inheritance
file and found out that why you have not received your payment is because
you have not fulfilled the obligations given to you in respect of your
Secondly we have been informed that you are still dealing with the none
officials in the bank all your attempt to secure the release of the fund to
you. We wish to advise you that such an illegal act like this have to stop
if you wish to receive your payment since we have decided to bring a
solution to your problem. Right now we have arranged your payment through
our swift card payment center Asia pacific that is the latest instruction
from Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari (gcfr) president federal republic of
Nigeria and federal ministry of finance in this year 2021
This card center will send you an atm card which you will use to withdraw
your money in any atm machine in any part of the world, but the maximum is
three thousand dollars per day, so if you wish to receive your fund this
way please let us know by contacting the card payment center and also send
the following information to enable him proceed immediately:
1. Full name:
2. Phone and fax number:
3. Address were you want them to send
The atm card to (p.o box not acceptable):
4. Your age and current occupation:
However, kindly find below the contact person:
Governor Central Bank of Nigeria
Direct Tel: +234 8061395185
The ATM card payment center has been mandated to issue out $10,000,000.00
as part payment for this fiscal year 2021. Also for your information, you
have to stop any further communication with any other person(s) or
office(s) to avoid any hitches in receiving your ATM payment.
Make sure you contact Mr.Godwin E, with this Direct Tel: +234 8038739243
as soon as you receive this important message for further direction and
also update me on any development from the above mentioned office. Note
that because of impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which
is (atm-222) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the card
center by using it as your subject.
of Foreign Affairs.
Geoffrey Jideofor Kwusike Onyeama, CFR
Address: No. 3Maputo Street, Wuse
Code conduct (atm-222)