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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2023 00:20:56 +0100
Subject: REPLY SOON...
From: Senator Orji Uzor Kalu,
Senate Committee on Foreign Contracts Settlement.
I am The Chairman, Senate Committee on Contract and settlement, few
day ago your name and payment file was forwarded to my office as one
of the beneficiaries to receive their payment this last quarter 2022
From my personal Investigation, the said fund you are trying to claim
for some years came as a result of Inheritance of an over-invoiced
contract payment, although, the said fund has already been approved
for payment in your name. But due to some reasons which I cannot
mention one after the other right now, the said approved fund has not
been released to you.
More so, there are some mistakes/irregularities and illegal approval
documents secured in the past in your payment file which need to be
be corrected before you can be able to receive this fund without you
having anymore delay or problem during transfer.
You are also be aware that some of the government officials and Banks
here in Nigeria even in abroad have tried to transfer this fund to you
but failed due to their dishonesty, greed, and unnecessary demand for
fees. So, you are hereby advised to stop any further communications
with anyone else or any other financial institution and comply to this
directive as to avoid any further delay.
However, above are the major reasons why you could not receive this
payment up till today and may likely not receive it unless you will
comply to my advise and conditions below:
1) You shall keep this transaction very confidential/ top secret.
2) You shall give me a letter of Guarantee to assured me that you will
not expose my involvement.
In fact once you agreed, then be rest assured to achieve this goal,
but if you refuse to work on my aforementioned stated conditions then
I shall send my report to the Presidency, The Central Bank of Nigeria
(C.B.N), and Economic & Financial Crime Commission (E.F.C.C) for
onward cancellation of the payment.
Dear Friend, All I need now is your sincerely,truth and co-operation
for immediate release of the funds to you and our mutual benefit.
I wait for your positive reply either to proceed or not.
Sen. Orji Kalu.