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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- ",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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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 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: CENTRALBANK CENTRALBANK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2022 04:37:32 -0700
Subject: Re: ATTN: Beneficiary REGARDING YOUR INHERITANCE FUND
*CENTRAL BANK REMITTANCE UNIT,CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT,CADASTRAL ZONE,
ABUJA,FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY,CONTRACT #: MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/013,Swift
Code: BPH KPL PK,A/C#: 32960612449g8PHONE : Phone : Call
+ 234-909-784-6583FOREIGN REMITTANCEOur Ref: CBN/IRD/CBX/021/11*
*INSTRUCTION / WARNING FROM CENTRAL BANK.*
*This is to bring to your notice from the Central Bank Remittance
Department that your outstanding contractual payment which was suspended by
the Nigerian government there by stopping the TELEX TRANSFER DEPARTMENT
topause the transfer of your contract fund to your nominated bank account.
As a result of this development verification conducted by the Finance
Ministry in conjunction with the Debt Verification Panel on your contract
case file has been endorsed for payment awaiting your confirmations. In
view of several efforts already made by us to contact you for the following
reasons based on the new account submitted to this office on your
behalf:(1) My Office desks have just received a sworn affidavit from Mr.
RAINER HESSE of Germany to re-route your payment into a new bank account
number as stated VACAP Federal Credit Union, 1700 Robin Hood Road,
Richmond, VA 23220
Account number 32501. of Mr. RAINER HESSE.(2)The sum of $10.5,000,000.00
(Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars)Please, confirm to our
office if you have instructed Mr. RAINER HESSE of GERMANY to appoint an
attorney/agent on your behalf thereby asking that he receive cash call
remittance on your behalf.(3) It has come to our notice that you are being
contacted by unauthorized individuals with respect to your contract
payment/inherittance fund but unfortunately this office is not aware of
your unofficial dealings and warned that it is at your own risk.(4) Please,
also confirm if you have authorized Mr. RAINER HESSE to change your banking
particulars to the following particulars stated below: VACAP Federal Credit
Union, 1700 Robin Hood Road, Richmond
VA23220. Account number 3250163 Also re-confirm your Contract Number,
Contract Amount,Private Telephone and Fax number, your email address,
Office or home address so that we can cross-check it with our file
records.We have decided to contact you for re-verification because we
suspected that Mr. RAINER HESSE is trying to divert your money through the
sworn affidavit into a new different bank account. You are advised to get
back to this office within 7days from today.Sincerely,Gov. Mr.Godwin