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:
- 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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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: CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2022 13:00:21 +0100
Subject: RE: AWAITING
My name is Chief (Dr.) Joshua O. Omuya. I am the Chief Accountant of
Central Bank Of Nigeria.
There is a deal I want you and I to strike and this should be kept to
utmost secrecy. There is this sum of USD27.5M which is in my position in
the bank. I want to send it to you by ATM Visa Card. I need you to
contact me so that I can guide you on how to
send this card to you. I need you to very honest and reliable.
You are only to pay for the courier service which I will use it to send the
ATM Card to your address. Note that you are to be withdrawing the sum of
USD$15,000.00 daily as the withdrawal limit. You are also eligible to
withdraw out of this ATM Card in any part of the world.
Out of this total sum of USD$27.5M you are to keep 40% of this total sum
for me and have 60% as yours.
Please you should ensure you do not involve any third party. It has to
remain a secret between you and I only. This deal is 100% risk free as I
have perfected everything relating to the fund here.
If you are interested you should forward your full names, address and any
of your identification card to me so that I will guide you on the next step
towards claiming this fund.
You are also advised to call me on the following line: +234-8089626798
I wait to hear from you
Chief (Dr.) Joshua O. Omuya
Chief Accountant of Central Bank Of Nigeria