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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "courier company" (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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: DR YURI AKOTA <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2022 15:15:38 -0700
Subject: WE ARE WAITING TO HERE FROM YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
PHASE II, GARKIFEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY
RE: INHERITANCE FUND TRANSFER NOTIFICATION
THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT YOUR FUND WHICH IS THE TOTAL SUM OF TEN MILLION
FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS (US$10, 500,000.00), AS YOUR
CONTRACT/INHERITANCE FUND HAVE BEEN PROGRAMMED FOR IMMEDIATE PAYMENT TO
YOU. AND YOUR INHERITANCE FUND PAYMENT HAS BEEN FINALIZED TO BE RELEASED TO
YOU AS THE LEGITIMATE BENEFICIARY OF THE FUND, VIA HSBC ATM DEBIT CARD.
MEANWHILE, WE WANT YOU TO CLARIFY IF YOU INDEED APPROVE A WOMAN FEW DAYS
AGO TO CLAIM YOUR FUND ON YOUR BEHALF, WHO NOW CLAIM THAT SHE IS YOUR
REPRESENTATIVE SENT BY YOU TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND.
THE REQUIRED INFORMATION IS AS STATED BELOW:
1. YOUR NAME:
2. YOUR ADDRESS:
3. YOUR TELEPHONE:
7. YOUR OCCUPATION:
NOTE THAT THIS ATM CARD WILL BE SENT TO YOU THROUGH THE COURIER SUCH AS
FEDEX, UPS OR ANY COURIER COMPANY OF YOUR CHOICE FOR THE DELIVERY OF YOUR
ATM CARD TO YOU FOR YOUR EASY CASHING OF YOUR CONTRACT SUM OF US$10,
500,000.00. FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY, THIS REPUTABLE BANK HAS BEEN
APPROVED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE HSBC BANK LONDON,THEY HAS BEEN ACCREDITED
TO HANDLE AND MAKE PAYMENT TO ALL FOREIGN CONTRACT/INHERITANCE FUNDS
BENEFICIARIES THIS SECOND QUARTER PAYMENT OF THE YEAR 2022 THEREFORE, WE
WAIT TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.
WE ARE WAITING TO HERE FROM YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
DR YURI AKOTA
DIRECTOR OF FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN)