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:
- "your payment is being processed" (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)
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million 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)
- "million 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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "U.N" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2022 22:57:50 +0100
United Nations Headquarters,
New York, NY 10017 , USA
YOUR REF: WB/NF/UN/028 UNITED NATIONS.
IMMEDIATE CONTRACT PAYMENT.CONTRACT #: GVRCBN/NNPC/FGN/MIN/019.
I bring to your immediate notice and urgent attention that this new
Government understand your plight, the huge amount of money you have
spent and all the disappointment you have suffered in the past to get
your contract fund paid to you. I wish to inform you that your payment
is being processed and will be released to you as soon as you respond
to this letter. Also note that from the record in my file your
outstanding contract payment is US$27 million dollars (Twenty-Seven
Million united states dollars). With due respect, do re-confirm to me
if this is not inline with what you have in your record and also
re-confirm to me the followings
1) your full name.
2) Phone, fax and mobile #.
3) Company name, position and address.
4) Profession, age and marital status.
5) Copy of your Valid ID Card.
As soon as this information is received, your payment will be made in
an ATM CARD ; Check ; Bank Draft ; Cash Payment or k.t.t wired to your
bank account directly from Central Bank of Nigeria and a copy of
payment slips / draft will be given to you for you to take to your
bank and confirmation depending on your choice payment. This morning a
Telex Signal attached with a Presidential Instruction Stamped and
Signed by Me The President has been sent to (CBN) to contact you for
the payment of your Contract Fund and two other Contractors within 48
Hours. For the Immediate payment of your Contract Fund within the next
48 Banking Hours
Secretary-General United Nation
DR. GODWIN EMEFIELE
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN)
PHONE NUMBER: +234-80-20-54-5551