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:
- 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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "central bank of nigeria" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev. Paul Baba" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2021 22:50:04 +0800
Subject: Instruction to credit your bank account
Central Bank of Nigeria(C.B.N)
Plot 33, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa way,
Central Business District, Cadastral zone,
Abuja-Nigeria. Code: 23401
24/7 Member Services: +234-802-712-7674
Re: Instruction to credit your account with the sum of US$15,500,000.00
This is my second e-mail to you requesting for confirmation, you can also immediately call me on this number for more clarification and further instruction's. My Telephone Number: +234-802-712-7674
Did you authorize a woman by name (MRS: JANET WHITE) who came to our office with an application stating that you gave her the Power of Attorney to be the beneficiary of your Outstanding contract/Inheritance/award funds.
She made us believe that you are dead and that she is your next of kin. We got your email Address and decided to send an email through this address hoping to find out if you are dead or alive. And also, to find out if you had at any time given this woman the power of attorney to represent you. Please let us know also if you are aware that your outstanding payment of Fifteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars($15.5M) is ready for transfer to her nominated bank account as stated below:
Bank Name: Bank Of America
Address:1723 Palmdale Bulv.
Palmdale Ca. 93550
Acct # : 00867-87680
Rout # : 026008391
Swift code # :Bofaus4N
Beneficiary: JANET WHITE
If you are not aware of the above instruction, do respond to this email Immediately.
For immediate transfer of your funds be informed that you are required to email us back asap with your information below:
1. Your full name:..
2 Your telephone numbers:...
3.Your full home address:...
4.Your Company address and position.
5.Your Age and Sex...
This information is mandatory for requisite ratification, confirmation and recommendation for payment accordingly.
Rev. Paul Baba.