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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Central Bank of Nigeria <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2022 05:25:17 +0100
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary
Central Bank of Nigeria
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Way
Central Business District,
Cadastral Zone, Abuja,
Federal Capital Territory,
C.B.N DEBT PAYMENT NOTICE OF YOUR FUND.
My name is Mr.Godwin Emefiele the Executive Governor Of The Central
Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Executive Chairman of "E.C.D.R".I
discovered your name and email address (in the Central Computer among
the list of unpaid contractors, inheritance next of kin and lotto
beneficiaries that was originated from Africa (Nigerian Government)
Europe, Asia Plus Middle east, Americans) among the list of
individuals and companies that your unpaid fund has been located to a
Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a payment
of $15,000,000.00 Million and has been approved already for Payment.
Last Monday two foreigners (Mr. David L Smith and Mr. John Shook)
visited my office on your behalf and stated that you and Mr. Jesus
Martinez Cardona sent them to come and represent you in your stead to
inform me that they are your Representatives from United State , whom
has been working with the CBN as a beneficiary since.
We in this Bank do not understand why you sent these men to come and
Collect your Funds on your behalf. If actually you want them to help
you collect your contract fund, at least you should have informed me
as the new Executive Governor of this Bank. They actually tendered
some Vital Documents which proved that you actually sent them for the
Collection of these Funds. Honestly, it really baffles me that you
took such decision without my consent. Here are the Document which
they tender to this Bank today:
1. LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION.
2. ORDER TO RELEASE.
Actually, these Documents which they tendered to this Noble Bank is a
clear Proof that you sent them to Collect this Funds for you. Finally,
I told them to come back Next week Monday morning and they promised to
come back. As the Governor of this Noble Bank, I was supposed to
Release this Funds to them but I refused to do so because I wanted to
hear from you first.
Due to the Nature of my job, I will not want to make any mistake in
Releasing this Funds to anyone except you whom is the Recognized
Bonfire Beneficiary to this Funds. Kindly clarify us on this issue
before we make this Payment to these foreigners whom came on your
Behalf. In receipt of this confidential Letter, you are required to
email this Bank immediately you receive this Confidential Letter.
You are required to reconfirm to me your information bellow.
DIRECT CONTACT NUMBER:_
We expect your urgent response to enable us quickly monitor this
Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
Central Bank of Nigeria