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:
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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: "MR. GODWIN EMEFIELE" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 12:14:20 -0800
Subject: LIST OF OUTSTANDING FUNDS
My name is Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Executive Governor Of The Central
Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Executive Chairman of "E.C.D.R".I
discovered that your name and email address (in the Central Computer
among the list of unpaid contractors, inheritance next of kin and
lotto beneficiaries that originated from Africa (Nigerian Government)
Europe, Asia Plus Middle east,Americans) among the list of individuals
and companies that your
unpaid fund has been located to a suspense account.
Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a
part-payment of $25 million and has been approved already for Payment.
yesterday two foreigners (Mr. Tim Parker and Mr. Rowland Gulf) visited
my office in your stead to inform me that they are your
Representatives from the United State, whom you send to collect your
Funds for you.
Here are the Document which they tender to this Bank today:
1. LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION.
2. HIGH COURT INJUNCTION.
3. ORDER TO RELEASE.
DEAR, BENEFICIARY YOU HAVE TO DISCOMFITURE FULL INFORMATION SO WE CAN
CHAT ON WHATS APP MORE ABOUT THE TRUNCATION
RECONFIRM YOUR INFORMATION.
COUNTRY/HOUSE ADDRESS ..............
MR. GODWIN EMEFIELE.
My WhatsApp number ]+234 9041275695