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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "CUSTOMER CARE SERVICE" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2023 07:40:19 -0800
Subject: Are you alive .
Are you alive ? If yes , have you received your overdue payment from the Nigerian government ?.
I am asking this question today due to the letter we received from a one time senator of the federation dated 16/01/2023. In his letter , he said that you are now late and that your funds US$10.5M should be transferred to one Mrs.Kerry Morton's bank account with First National Bank in Arkansas, United States of America.
Since I have your email on our system , I decided to send this message through your email address today hoping to find out if you are dead as he claimed or still alive. Also to find out if you are at any time given the Power of Attorney for any one to represent you in claiming your overdue payment.
Kindly respond to this letter today if you are still alive with your direct working telephone number to let us know if you are aware of this plan as claimed by the senator .
Mr.Godwin Emefiele (Governor),
Central Bank of Nigeria.