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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "Mr. Ebenezer N. Onyeagwu"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
From Mr. Ebenezer N. Onyeagwu
GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR / CEO
Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc
RE: THE TRUTH OF
My name is Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu the new appointed director foreign
payment department Zenith Bank of Nigeria. I am writing to
congratulate and inform you that both of us has been favored by the
new elected Federal Republic of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari by
appointing me as the new director of the Central Bank of Nigeria and
instructing my office to review your payment file and pay your overdue
contract/inheritance payment sum of Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars only ($10,500,000.00) as my first assignment to
this office, during my paper work review in my office this morning, I
discovered from our office payment file that you have not received
your long expected payment of $10.5Million and you have spent so much
money trying to receive your money all to no avail and you have gone
through all process to receive your payment through bank to bank wire
transfer, ATM card, International certified bank draft and cash
payment diplomatic all to no avail and this has cause you much money
and Online banking
My dear friend the truth of the matter is, there is no amount of money
you will spend or pay to anyone in the process of receiving your
payment that will make you receive this payment without following the
due bank payment transfer process, if not you will keep spending your
hard earn money bribing officials of the bank or individuals without
success, because Federal Government of Nigeria do not permit any back
Now that I have been appointed as the new director in charge of
foreign payment with the central bank of Nigeria and have been
instructed and empower by the new elected President Muhammadu Buhari,
I will like to ask you this question before we proceed and as soon as
I hear from you I will let you know the reason why you have not
received your payment and what you should do to receive your payment
through the right bank payment transfer payment process.
My question is this: Are you still interested and ready to receive
your fund? I wait to hear from you and will disclose the reason why
you have not receive your payment and what you should do to receive
Finally, I will advice you as the current director in charge of all
foreign payment to stop any further communication with whomsoever you
are in contact with regarding to this payment either local or
international to avoid diversion of payment, now that I have step into
your payment file for final remittance to you and also stop wasting
your hard earn money to individuals hence the problem is not all about
Call me as you receive this message. +234-8037809071
God bless you.
Mr. Ebenezer N. Onyeagwu
GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR / CEO
Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc.