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:
- "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: MR Godwin Emefiele <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2021 09:50:46 +0100
Subject: SUPPLANTED ACCOUNT FOR PAYMENT-PLEASE CONFIRM.
Office Of the Governor
Central Bank Of Nigeria
Plot 33, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa way,
Central Business District, Cadastral Abuja
Telephone: + 234-9079567030
Fax: + +234 9 46237602
SUPPLANTED ACCOUNT FOR PAYMENT-PLEASE CONFIRM.
We have investigated the unnecessary delay in the payment of your
Inheritance,contract and compensation fund, which was recommended and
approved in your favour by the Federal Government in conjunction with
IMF/UN. In the course of our investigation, we discovered with dismay
that your payment has been delayed by corrupt officials of false
institutions and banks. As a result of this development, we have
sought and received Power of Attorney from a lawyer who confirmed to
us that you are very sick and currently in the hospital and as such
has authorized that the fund should channel and transferred to your
sister company's account in USA state thus:
BANK NAME:CHASE BANK JPMORGAN CHASE BANKS N/A
ACCT NAME;SYLVINA THOMPSON R.
ACCOUNT NO 44122469581
If you never delegated any one to act in this capacity, you are
directed as matter of urgency to reach this office for immediate
stoppage of the payment into the above account as the instruction has
already been given to relevant bank to credit the below stated bank
account through our correspondent bank in less than 48 hours to avoid
But where the above information is correct, confirm the same to us so
that your account will be credited accordingly. However, if you are
not aware of this arrangement, put us a DISCLAIMER and send to us for
further action to safeguard your fund, and STOP FURTHER COMMUNICATION
with anybody now.
Note that it is our constitutional responsibility to evaluate total
debt of the country, reconcile her debts with foreign and local
Contractors, Inheritance claimants, and local contractors alike, and
recommend immediate payment. To this end, you are requested to furnish
this office with the following information;
1. YOUR FULL NAMES / COMPANY NAME
2. ADDRESS/ AMOUNT EXPECTING
3. TELEPHONE AND FAX /OCCUPATION
4.PURPOSE OF PAYMENT/AGE
Your immediate response to this letter will be appreciated to assist
us serve you better.
MR GODWIN EMEFIELE
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, CBN
TELEPHONE: + 234
FAX + 234-1- 473 2091