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:
- "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)
- ",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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: CENTRAL BANK OFFICE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 22:45:18 +0100
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA,
566 TO 599 VICTORIA ISLAND,
THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN), WRITES TO INFORM YOU THAT
$15,000,000.00.(FIFTEEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) HAS BEEN
APPROVED BY THE WORLD BANK ORGANIZATION AND CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA AS
SCAM VICTIM\COVID-19 AFFECTED COMPENSATION FUND FOR THOSE WHICH HAS
BEEN AFFECTED IN THE PAST YEARS. THE $15,000,000.00 WILL BE
CREDITED/PAID VIA ATM MASTER CARD TO THE LEGAL BENEFICIARY, WHICH
HIS\HER NAME HAS BEEN INCLUDED AS SCAM VICTIM\COVID-19 AFFECTED
NOTE: YOU ARE REQUESTED TO CONFIRM YOUR VALID INFORMATION TO ENABLE
THE CENTRAL BANK REACHES OUT TO YOU AS THE AFFECTED PERSON OR THE
CONFIRM BELOW INFORMATION;
1, YOUR NAMES...........
2, YOUR ADDRESS..........
3, MARITAL STATUS............
4, PHONE NUMBER..........
5, YOUR PRIVATE/SECURE EMAIL ADDRESS........
6. YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATION.............
7. ID CARD FOR VERIFICATION:
YOUR URGENT RESPONSE IS WELCOMED AS WE ARE OPEN TO RECEIVE ANY
QUESTION THAT MAY DISTURB YOU.
MR. GODWIN EMEFIELE