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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "cost of transfer" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. David Donald" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2018 00:50:57 +0530
Subject: THE REASON WHY YOUR FUND TRANSFER WAS STOPPED NOW
Head Quarters, Elephant House
Victoria Island, Lagos-Nigeria
Foreign Remittance First Bank Nigeria Plc
This is a personal email directed to you and I request that it be
treated as such, I am Mr. David Donald the Director of International
Remittance Department of this Bank, my Boss, Mr. Jacobs M. Ajekigbe,
the Managing director/CEO of this bank is now on compulsory leave and
all power have been vested on me to make all international payments.
Also, due to reported cases of corrupt practices in other Nigeria
Banks including the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Government
has revoked/canceled all power vested on those banks and has appointed
our bank (First Bank of Nigeria) to make all foreign payments.
Be informed that the Federal Government have approved the release of
part-payment of$7.5M(Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) out
of your total funds, which has been in this bank for many years
unclaimed because my boss Mr. Jacobs Ajekigbe, collaboration with the
Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have refused to tell you the
truth on how to claim your fund this is because he has been using the
interest accumulated from your fund every year to enrich himself
without your knowledge.
I want to help you pull out this fund to your bank account using the
easiest and the quickest method, which have not been made known to
you before. By this method, you will open a domiciliary account with
this bank (First Bank of Nigeria), your fund would be lodged into
this domiciliary account and your fund will be paid in directly to any
bank of your choice. After the transfer, you will confirm the fund in
your bank account within 5 hours the same day. No Cost of Transfer
(COT) and no stoppage from any Government departments as the transfer
will be done within the bank alone and it is very safe.
The method which was introduced to you before is the Telegraphic
Transfer (TT) for which confirmation was 48hrs, because of the time
factor, petitions could come from various organizations stopping your
payment and asking you to pay huge fee which would be difficult for
you to pay so that they can benefit from the huge interest your fund
generates while still in the Bank.
This method is not safe for you because it is not done within the bank
alone as information of the payment would be sent to the Central
Control Unit (CCU) of the Federal Ministry of Finance and office of
the Accountant General of the Federation.
As a good Christian, I have nothing to gain by keeping your fund, I
want to assist you receive your fund before my boss resumes office.
You have to follow up and work with me now, so keep this very
confidential because of fraudsters and impostors who go about
presenting various bank accounts in order to divert another
Please get back to me with my direct Email address below.
Mr. David Donald
First Bank Nigeria Plc
Email ( email@example.com ).