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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "lamido aminu sanusi" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Central Bank of Nigeria"<alerts@CENBANK.org> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 09:09:48 -0000
Subject: Payment Notification of Funds.
Central Bank of Nigeria
Office of the Presidency,
The Honorable Governor of CBN,
Abuja FCT, Nigeria.
Our Ref: CBN/OHG/OXD1/10
Payment File: CBN/BEN/10.
Definitely, I know that this letter will be surprising to you.
Firstly, I will like to introduce myself formally as Mr. Lamido
Aminu Sanusi. The Executive Governor of The Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN). You are been officially contacted by me today because your
Inheritance Funds were re-deposited into the "Federal Suspense
Account" of CBN last week, because you did not forward your Claim
as the Right beneficiary. Well known to all, The Central Bank
of Nigeria is the Mother Bank of all Commercial Banks here in
Really these men were unexpected by me because their visit was
impromptu. I had to ask them why they came to see me in person
and they said that they were here to Collect the Inheritance
Bill Sum of ($7.5million) which rightfully belongs to you, on
At this development I asked them who authorized them to come
down to Nigeria for the Collection of this Payment and they told
me that you asked them to come and collect this Funds on your
Behalf. In fact this was the biggest shock that this Bank have
ever received so far because your inheritance Fund is still
in the "Federal Suspense Account" of CBN, yet you sent these
men to come and collect this Funds on your behalf without notifying
We in this Bank do not understand why you sent these men to come
and Collect your Funds on your behalf. If actually you want them
to help you Collect your Inheritance Bill Sum, at least you should
have informed me as the Executive Governor of this Bank.
They actually tendered some Vital Documents which Proved that
you actually sent them for the Collection of this Funds. Honestly,
it really baffles me that you took such decision without my
consent.Here are the Document which they tendered to this Bank
1. LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION.
2. HIGH COURT INJUNCTION.
3. ORDER TO RELEASE.
Actually, these Documents which they tendered to this Noble Bank
is a clear Proof that you sent them to Collect this Funds for
you. Finally, I told them to come back on certain date and they
promised to be back.
As the Governor of this Bank, I was supposed to Release
this Funds to them but I refused to do so because I wanted to
hear from you first. Due to the Nature of my job, I will not
want to make any mistake in Releasing this Funds to anyone except
you whom is the recognized bona fide Beneficiary to this Funds.
Kindly clarify us on this issue before we make this Payment to
these foreigners whom came on your behalf. In receipt of this
confidential Letter, you are required to notify this Bank immediately
you receive this Confidential Letter.
You will be required to re-confirm the following information to enable the
Central Bank of Nigeria begin the process of the transfer of your Funds
into your bank account.
Kindly re-confirm to me the followings:
1) Full name:
2) Phone number:
3) Home Address:
5) Date of Birth:
6) Scanned copy of International passport/Identification card:
Mr. Lamido Sanusi.