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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "Dr. Tanko Ahmed" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2021 10:28:51 +0100
Subject: Hello Friend
My Name is Dr. Tanko Ahmed, and Im the Paymaster General of the Federation / Chief Operating Officer in the
Accounting Unit of the Central Bank of Nigeria. (CBN). This message might meet you in utmost surprise. However,
it's just my urgent need for a foreign partner that made me to contact you for this transaction.
An account was opened in my bank by one of my customers in the name of MR. THOMAS BAHIA a Dutch National
from Germany who was a consultant/contractor with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Power here in Nigeria
Africa, where he made a numbered time Fixed Deposit, valued at $11,500,000.00 (Eleven Million, Five hundred
Thousand United States Dollars) for twelve (12) Calendar months in my Bank Branch, but since 2010, this account
has never be operated.
Upon maturity, we sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent a
reminder and finally I discovered from his contract employers that MR. THOMAS BAHIA is no longer alive: he died
with his entire family in a plane crash that occurred in Libya on the 12th of May 2010 and below is a link for your
The said fund is still in my Bank branch and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of
each year. Now the fund is $12,200,000.00 (Twelve Million Two Hundred Thousand US Dollars) because of the
In accordance with Nigerian Government Financial Law, at the expiration of 11 (Eleven) years, the money will be
reverted back to the ownership of the Government of Nigeria, if nobody comes forward for the funds and it will be
tagged as unclaimed funds.
Consequently, I want to present you as the next of kin to this late customer because you are a foreigner like him
and the funds will be transferred to your Bank account and after the successful transfer of the funds, I will come
over to your country for the sharing/investment and the money will be shared in the ratio of 45% for me, 45% for
you and 10% to cover our expenses after the deal. There is no risk involved, as I will use my position in the Bank to
secure approvals and guarantee the successful execution of this transaction within 10 - working banking days.
If this proposal interests you, let me know by sending me an email and I will send to you detailed Information on how
this business would be successfully transacted. Be informed that nobody knows about the secret of this fund
except me and I know how to carry out the entire transaction. Please include your private phone numbers for a
voice talk and reply to me through the email below:
Looking forward to your urgent reply to enable me give you more details and you can as well give me a call: +234
Dr. Tanko Ahmed
The PayMaster General of the Federation,
Auditor General/Telex Computeronic System