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:
- "outstanding contractors" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united state 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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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 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: Christopher Wray <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2021 23:39:28 +0100
Subject: IMPORTANT NOTICE / NEEDS URGENT REPLY
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FBI
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION .
URGENT ATTENTION BENEFICIARY !!
How are you and your entire family, I hope you are all in a good present
state of mind and health. In regard to the previous mail sent to you
concerning your contract payment worth $8.3Million United State Dollars
which was recently endorsed for disbursement by the central bank of
Nigeria, we were informed that from the records of the outstanding
contractors whom their fund is due for payment with the Federal Government
of Nigeria, your name and company were discovered to be next on the list of
the outstanding contractors who have not yet received their payment
It might interest you to know that we have already contacted the person in
charge of your transfer (Dr Godwin Emefiele and he assured us that as soon
as they hear from you they start taking the next procedural step regarding
the release of your funds to you. We advise that you contact the CBN.
Payment department immediately and ask that they attend to your payment
file BEFORE THE DEADLINE DATE. We have taken out time in screening this
project as stipulated in our protocol of operation and have finally
confirmed that your contract payment is 100% genuine and from all facts
and of which you have the lawful right to claim your fund without any
further delay. Having said all this, we will further advise that you go
ahead in dealing with the Central Bank office accordingly as we will be
monitoring all their services with you as well as your Correspondence at
Note that the central bank of Nigeria equally have their own protocol as
stipulated in their banking operation, so we advise that you follow up
their procedure as may be required from you as that will further hasten up
the whole process regard to the release of your inheritance fund/overdue,
compensation payment to you as instructed by the federal government of
Nigeria. Also want to use this opportunity to WARN you against some
hoodlums that are impersonating my office and other government agencies for
the purpose of extorting money from innocent CITIZENS like you. Be very
vigilant and always forward to my office any messages sent to you before
replying to them so that we can confirm if it's genuine or not..We are
poised to take this precaution so as to make sure you don't fall victim to
those miscreants who are claiming to be who they are not. Like I told you
before, we recently had a meeting with the executive governor, Central Bank
office prior to your case, the real official contact information of the
real office enclosed below for your observation and reference.
EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR: Dr Godwin Emefiele
Phone number: +234-704-215-6976
Central bank help desk payment center
Official email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OFFICE ADDRESS: Central Bank of Nigeria ,
Central Business District,
Abuja , Federal Capital Territory ,
NOTE: In your best interest, any message that doesn't come from the
official email from please disregard accordingly for security reasons. The
reason is because we received a fax today from the Central Bank office,
stating that they have recently been informed through their underground
monitoring unit that some hoodlums are contacting you claiming to be from
the Central Bank of Nigeria, just to collect money from you for no reason.
We have started our investigation on how to get these hoodlums and as well
bring them to book and note that any information you send to us, will go a
long way in helping us track these fraudsters down. To this effect, we will
like you to forward to us any of their contact information so as to enable
us forward copy to all the relevant security agencies.
Once again, we will advise that you contact the Central Bank office only as
soon as you can because they have already started sorting our contract
payments to serious clients and your case should not be exempted. This is
all I can tell you for now until you have contacted them as directed. Like
we also stated in the previous email which we sent to you, we will continue
monitoring all the services of this project during and after your fund must
have been routed to you as designated so you need nothing to worry about
prior to that. All we just need from you, is your utmost cooperation as it
is our duty to protect your interest at all times.
Have a blessed day !
Mr Christopher Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001 , USA