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:
- "western union" (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. )
- ",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)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- "(efcc)" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "CENTRAL BANK" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2021 01:44:35 -0700
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPOND IS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY TOWARDS THIS MATTER
Address: 13 Broad St, Lagos Island, Lagos
Hours: Closed · Opens 8AM Wed
Records show that you are among one of the individuals and organizations who are yet to receive their overdue payment from overseas which includes those of Lottery/Contract and Inheritance Payment From 2010 years ago till 2021 Records. Through our Fraud Monitory Unit we have also noticed that over the past 6 good Years,You have been transacting with some impostors and fraudsters In Cotonou-Benin Republic,Ghana,Spain,London UK and even Togo who have been impersonating likes of Courier Companies,Western Union & Bankers, none officials of Eco Bank,And some impostors claiming to be The Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Cyber Crime Division of the FBI gathered information from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC) formerly known as the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (EFCC) of how some people have lost outrageous sums of money to these impostors/Fraudsters. As a result of this we hereby advise you to stop communication Completely with any one not referred to you by us CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN).
We have negotiated with the Federal Ministry of Finance that your payment total US$1,500,000.00 has been released to you via a custom pin based ATM-card with a maximum withdrawal limit of $20,000 a day which is powered by Visa Card and can be used anywhere in the world where you see a Visa Card Logo on the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM). We have advised that this should be the only way at which you are to receive your payment because it's more guaranteed than any other means and what a joy that the Central Bank Agent will deliver the ATM-Card directly to you with the PIN Access Codes and The good News is that You will makes use of the ATM-Card in his Presence by using the ATM-Card to Withdraw to Confirm it Life, Please Be Noted that over $5 billion was lost on fake cheque For past years. We give you 100% Guarantee over this Card, because we have perfected everything in regards to the release of your US$1,500,000.00 United States Dollars to be 100% risk free and free from any hitches as it?s our duty to prot
This is as a result of the mandate from US Government to make sure all debts owned to people which includes Inheritance, Contract, Gambling/Lottery etc are been cleared for the betterment of the current economic status of the nation And its citizens as he has always believed ?Our Time for Change has come? because ?Change can happen To redeem your fund you are hereby advised to Be In Contact with CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN) via email & Phone always for their requirement to proceed and procure your Affidavit of Payment Warrant and Endorsement of your ATM Release Order on your behalf.
But the report we receive from you this morning is that you have ready instruct this Lady Ms. Nagisa Hamasaki, to claim your fund which she also told us that you are no more alive that you have already given her instructions to claim your compensation fund of $1.5M the last time she visited you in hospital due to the car accident you have that she believe that you can not make it and the Bank decided to write you to confirm if you are dead or alive because this Lady Ms. Nagisa Hamasaki told us that you are no more alive that she is here to divert your fund to this Account that she present to us right now please respond to this email before taking any decision concerning this Lady because the WORLD BANK have instruct us to compensate all scam victims immediately and get back to them with your record file.
Below is the Account details we received from this Lady that you have given her instruction to claim this fund.
BANK NAME.Wells Fargo
BANK'S ADDRESS: 670 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles, California 90005
ACCOUNT NO: 597 082 9098
SWIFT CODE: WFBIUS6S
BENEFICIARY SIGNATURE; MS NAGISA HAMASAKI
We advice you to confirm us your information immediately you receive this massage before taking any decision on this Lady Ms Nagisa Hamasaki.
YOUR FULL NAME
YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
YOUR DATE OF BIRTH
YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER.
A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE
YOUR CURRENT MAILING ADDRESS
We Promise to Serve you better, Thanks and My Regards to your Family.
Thank You For Banking With Us.
MRS. NGOZI EBANE
DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE UNIT,
CENTRAL BANK (CBN)