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)
- "million 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)
- "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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: CBN OFFICE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2023 03:16:11 +0100
Subject: RE: YOUR CONTRACT #: MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/014
Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN )
CONTRACT #: MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/013,
Foreign Remittance Department.
Phone Number: +234-8056-3056-38
YOUR FUND APPROVED PAYMENT OF US$27, 000 ,000 .00 (TWENTY SEVEN MILLION
DOLLARS THROUGH ONLINE ACCOUNT )
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 TELEX TRANSFER DEPARTMENT 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 beenendorsed for payment
awaiting your confirmations. 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 Million US
Dollars ( Twenty Seven Million US
Dollars Only, Please confirm to our office if you have instructed Mr.RAINER
HESSE from GERMANY to appoint an attorney/agent on your behalf thereby
asking that he receive cash call remittance on your behalf.
(2) It has come to our notice that you are being contacted by unauthorized
individuals in 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. 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, VA23220.
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 file records.
Reply back on (email@example.com)with your full information. Note
that your payment files will be returned to the IMF within 72 hours if we
did not hear from you, this was the instruction given to us by the IMF. We
will start the transfer as soon as we received your information. We have
decided to contact you for re-verification because we suspected that Mrs.
RENAE MOORE? is trying to divert your money through the sworn affidavit
into a new different bank account. You are
advised to get back to this office within 7 days from today.
We await on the follow information below:
1.Your Id card or International passport.....
2.Your Full name.............
3.Your what's App number................
4.Your residential Address
6.Private Telephone Number:...............
Mr. Godwin Emefiele
Executive Governor Central Bank of Nigeria