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:
- "cost of transfer" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (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 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: "First Bank Plc" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2022 06:08:01 -0800
Subject: Handle this matter Urgently
Mr.Richard G Shobo OF
FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC
35 MARINA P. O. Box 5216,
TEL PHONE:+234 80 9441 7275
WELCOME TO FIRST BANK
I am writting this letter to you in order to change your life from today.I am Mr.Richard G Shobo the Director, International Remittance Department of this Bank, my Boss, Mr. Jacobs M. Ajekigbe, the Managing director/CEO of this bank is now on compulsory leave and all power have been vested on me to make all international payments.
Also, due to reported cases of corrupt practices in other Nigeria Banks including the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Government has revoked/canceled all power vested on those banks and has appointed our bank (First Bank of Nigeria) to make all foreign payments. Be informed that the Federal Government have approved the release of part-payment of$6.5M (Six Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) out of your total funds, which has been in this bank for many years
unclaimed because my boss Mr. Jacobs Ajekigbe, collaboration with the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have refused to tell you the
truth on how to claim your fund this is because he has been using the interest accumulated from your fund every year to enrich himself without your knowledge.
I want to help you pull out this fund to your bank account using the easiest and the quickest method, which have not been made known to you before. By this method, you will open a domiciliary account with this bank (First Bank of Nigeria), your fund would be lodged into this domiciliary account and your fund will be paid in directly to any bank of your choice. After the transfer, you will confirm the fund in your bank account within 5hours the same day. No Cost of Transfer (COT) and no stoppage from any Government departments as the transfer will be done within the bank alone and it is very safe.
The method which was introduced to you before is the Telegraphic Transfer (TT) for which confirmation was 48hrs, because of the time factor, petitions could come from various organizations stopping yourpayment and asking you to pay huge fee which would be difficult for you to pay so that they can benefit from the huge interest your fund generates while still in the Bank. This method is not safe for you because it is not done within the bank alone as information of the
payment would be sent to the Central Control Unit (CCU) of the Federal Ministry of Finance and office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
As a good Christian, I have nothing to gain by keeping your fund, I want to assist you receive your fund before my boss resumes office. You have to follow up and work with me now, so keep this very confidential. Your present/valid account co-ordinates and amount to be claimed so that I do not transfer your fund to the wrong Bank Account.
You are advise to forward to your Full Name, your contact address,your phone number, your Occupation, your Sex, your next of Kin and your Date of Birth to enable me open account, be well inform that opening account is free.
Awaiting your urgent response,
Mr.Richard G Shobo.
(Director:International Remittance unit First Bank Of Nigeria Plc)