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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "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)
- "lagos" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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. GODWIN EMEFIELE" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2023 18:55:12 +0600
Subject: CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA : CODE ( 9902 )
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA,
566 TO 599 VICTORIA ISLAND,
OUR CODE. ( 9902)
This is very urgent, As Your Fund Is About To Be Illegally Claimed.
In our office, some time last month, One Mr. John T. Kehoe of 1200
Fitch Way, Sacramento, Ca. 95864 filed an application contrary
to your Pending fund transfer. The above mentioned person visited
this Bank yesterday with a power of attorney given in his favor
by your good self, granting him the benefit to process and claim
your inheritance of $15,000,000.00,for personal reasons.he stated
the fund should be wired to his Bank account with Bank of America,
Routing Number: 121000358.
Our office has asked Mr. John T. Kehoe to return back
to the Bank within 48hours to enable us have a personal confirmation
from you being the beneficiary, respectively, legally and officially.
OUR URGENT INQUIRY FROM YOU, MR John T. Kehoe.
1. Did you instruct one Mr. John T. Kehoe
to claim and receive the payment on your behalf?
2. Did you sign any 'Deed of Assignment'
in his favor thereby making him the current
beneficiary of your unclaimed fund?
We are sorry to have delayed your instruction in giving out this
fund since we must adhere to the procedures of this honorable bank by
making sure this request is verified and confirmed by the
beneficiary and his existing attorney.
Your confirmation to the above will be appreciated, as
We look forward to hearing from you soonest and urgently.
MR. GODWIN EMEFIELE.
Central Bank of Nigeria
PHONE NUMBER: +2348086015673