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:
- "economic financial crime commission" (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. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "ERIC BARNES" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2021 19:22:30 -0700
Subject: Compensation From World Bank in Conjunction with United Nations
The World Bank
P. O. Box 2826, Abuja, Nigeria
Plot 433 Yakubu Gowon Crescent.
Consequent to the reports and clamoring made to the United Nations by numerous Next of Kin and Foreign Contractors whose funds are being delayed in Nigeria to impose sanction on Banks and civil service commission in the Federal Republic of Nigeria over the non-payments of their funds by some unscrupulous directors working in their Banks here in Nigeria, who engages themselves in this illicit act of extorting illegitimate fees from the foreign beneficiaries and next of kin for their personal enrichment without transferring the said fund.
It was in view of this ugly development that the Secretary General of the United Nation Mr. Antonio Guterres with other delegates from United Nation and World Bank had a bilateral joint meeting held on 4th June 2020 with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in conjunction with the Economic Financial Crime Commission (E.F.C.C) and the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, unanimously agreed that all unpaid outstanding foreign payment funds, be it Contract Payment or Inheritance Payment must be released to their rightful beneficiaries to avoid economic sanction on Nigeria.
We were mandated to look into financial transaction records of Banks, Securities companies and Financial houses within Nigeria and African based on the bilateral agreement reached with the Secretary General of the United Nation And World Bank. Also our Office works in collaboration with American, Asian, European Banks.
During our investigation and verification exercise, we have discovered large amounts of Looted money deposited in some FOREIGN BANKS by some top retired Government officials and some corrupt Directors working in Nigerian Banking sector. To throw more lights on the recovered looted assets and public fund, read Federal Government of Nigeria publication of 4th June 2020:
Also we discovered unpaid debts from various Banks and securities companies, worth over (US$2 Billion dollars) floating in some Banks here and on our further verification we observed that you were to be paid for an Inherited Contract Fund, which some avaricious and greedy directors of some Banks used the privilege to demand certain documents and unnecessary fees for their selfish interest before the fund could be released to you.
I want to inform you that the problem you had in the past years is from your partners and the lawyer who is representing you, They do not reveal the reason for the delay of your inherited payment and the reason you should pay the money they demand from you.
Therefore henceforth, We have taken up the mantle to protect your interest and I will use my elevated veto position to assist you towards the release of this over delayed payment through our accredited payout Bank. Zenith Bank Nigeria PLC.
You are first, required to furnish to me the undermentioned statutory requisites to enable my office process your payment.
1. Your full names and address.
2. Your direct phone and home telephones numbers.
3. Your confidential private e-mail address.
Finally, We on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, do plead for your total forgiveness and exercised patience over the delay in transferring your inheritance Contract fund.
Mr. Eric Barnes