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:
- 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.)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Central Bank of Nigeria <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2021 01:18:57 +0100
Subject: CENTRAL BANK REMITTANCE UNIT
CENTRAL BANK REMITTANCE UNIT,
CADASTRAL ZONE, ABUJA,
FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY,
CONTRACT #: MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/013,
Swift Code: BPH KPL PK,
PHONE : Phone : +234-9028750360
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
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
The sum of 25 Million US Dollars (
Twenty Five 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 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.
Reply back on (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with your full information. Note that your payment files
will be returned to the IMF within 72 hours if we did not
hear from you, this was the instruction given to us by the
IMF. We will start the transfer as soon as we received your
We have decided to contact you for
re-verification because we suspected that Mrs.RENAE MOORE?
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 7 days from today.