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:
- 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:
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "million us 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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (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: "CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2023 14:52:51 -0800
Subject: Dear Esteemed Customer
CENTRAL BANK REMITTANCE UNIT,
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT,
CADASTRAL ZONE, ABUJA,
FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY,
CONTRACT #: MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/013,
Swift Code: BPH KPL PK,
FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT
Our Ref: CBN/IRD/CBX/021/23
INSTRUCTION / WARNING FROM CENTRAL BANK.
This is to bring to your notice from the Central Bank Remittance
Department that your outstanding contractual payment which was
suspended by the Nigerian government there by stopping the Telegraphic
Wire Transfer/ ATM Department, Central Bank of Nigeria to pause the
transfer of your contract fund to your nominated bank account. As a
result of this development verification conducted by the Finance
Ministry in conjunction with the Debt Verification Panel on your
contract case file has been endorsed for payment awaiting your
In view of several efforts already made by us to contact you for the
following reasons based on the new account submitted to this office on
(1) My Office desks have just received a sworn affidavit from
Mr.RAINER HESSE of Germany to re-route your payment into a new bank
account number as stated VACAP Federal Credit Union, 1700 Robin Hood
Road, Richmond, VA 23220. Account number 32501. of Mr. RAINER HESSE.
The sum of $27,000,000.00 ( Twenty Seven Million US Dollars) (2)
Please, confirm to our office if you have instructed Mr. RAINER HESSE
of GERMANY to appoint an attorney/agent on your behalf thereby asking
that he receive cash call remittance on your behalf.
(3) It have come to our notice that you are being contacted by
unauthorized individuals with respect to your contract payment but
unfortunately this office is not aware of your unofficial dealings and
warned that it is at your own risk.
(4) Please, also confirm if you have authorized Mr. RAINER HESSE to
change your banking particulars to the following particulars stated
below: VACAP Federal Credit Union, 1700 Robin Hood Road, Richmond, VA
23220. Account number 3250163 Also re-confirm your Contract Number,
Contract Amount, Private Telephone and Fax number, your e-mail
address, Office or home address so that we can cross-check it with our
We have decided to contact you for re-verification because we
suspected that Mr. RAINER HESSE is trying to divert your money through
the sworn affidavit into a new different bank account.You are advised
to get back to Telegraphic Wire Transfer/ ATM Department,Central Bank
of Nigeria on this Email ( Telegraphicwiretransfer@outlook.com )
within 7days from today.
Finally, we hope to hear from you soonest to enable us serve you better.
Thank you for your anticipated corporations.
Gov. Mr.Godwin Emefiele
Executive Governor Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN).