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:
- "cost of transfer" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "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 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: "Rev.Johnson Philips" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2021 11:10:39 +0100
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU WITH THIS ??
From; Rev.Johnson Philips
First Bank Plc.
International Remittance Department
I am Rev.Johnson Philips the Senior Manager,FIRST Bank PLC,my Boss,
Mr. Jacobs Okosun, the Managing Director/CEO of this bank is now on
compulsory leave and all power have been vested on me to make all
international payments.Also, due to
reported cases of corrupt practices in Nigeria Banks including the
Central Bank of Nigeria , the Federal Government has revoked/cancelled
all power vested on those banks and has appointed our bank (First Bank
of Nigeria Plc) to make all foreign payments.
Be informed that the Federal Government have approved the release of
your payment Fund of $35.5M (Thirty Five Million Five Hundred Thousand
Dollars)of your total funds, which has been in this bank for many
years unclaimed because my boss Mr. Jacob Okosun , elaboration with
the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have refused to tell you
the truth on how to claim your fund this is because he has been using
the interest accumulated from your fund every year to enrich himself
without your knowledge,I want to help you pull out this fund to your
bank account using the easiest and the quickest method, which have not
been made known to you before.
By this method, you will open a domiciliary account with this bank
(First Bank of Nigeria Plc),your fund would be lodged into this
domiciliary account and your fund will be paid in directly to any bank
of your choice.
After the transfer, you will confirm the fund in your bank account
within 5hours the same day. No Cost of Transfer (COT) and no stoppage
from any Government departments as the transfer will be done within
the bank alone and it is very safe.The method which was introduced to
you before is the Telegraphic Transfer (TT) for which confirmation was
48hrs, because of the time factor, petitions could come from various
organizations stopping your payment and asking you to pay huge fee
which would be difficult for you to pay so that they can benefit from
the huge interest your fund generates while still in the Bank.
This method is not safe for you because it is not done within the bank
alone as information of the payment would be sent to the Central
Control Unit (CCU) of the Federal Ministry of Finance and office of
the Accountant General of the Federation.
As a good Christian, I have nothing to gain by keeping your fund, I
want to assist you receive your fund before my boss resumes office.
You have to follow up and work with me now, so keep this very
confidential because of fraudsters and impostors who go about
presenting various bank accounts in order to divert another
beneficiary's fund.your present/valid account co-ordinates and amount
to be claimed so that I do not transfer your fund to the wrong Bank
Account.Please re-state the below;
(1) Your Valid Direct Tel/ Mobile/Fax Number.
(2) Your Full Name:
(3) Current Resident Address.
(4) Your Private E-mail Address.
(5) Your Occupation:
(6) Your Age and Sex:
(7) Your Nationality:
8) Your I/D Card attached.
Awaiting your quick Response.
First Bank Plc.
International Remittance Department