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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "outstanding contractors" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your payment is being processed" (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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: PAYMENT CENTER DEPARTMENT <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:31:59 +0100
Subject: REIMMEDIATE CONTRACT PAYMENT FROM CBN
MR. GODWIN EMEFIELE
EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR CENTRAL,
BANK OF NIGERIA CBN.
REIMMEDIATE CONTRACT PAYMENT FROM CBN.
ON BEHALF OF THE ENTIRE STAFF OF THE (CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA) AND THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA IN COLLABORATION WITH IMF AND WORLD
BANK,UNITED NATION. WE APOLOGIES FOR THE DELAY OF YOUR CONTRACT PAYMENT AND
ALL THE INCONVENIENCES YOU ENCOUNTERED WHILE PURSUING THIS
PAYMENT.HOWEVER,FROM THE RECORDS OF OUTSTANDING CONTRACTORS DUE FOR PAYMENT
WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA, YOUR NAME AND COMPANY WAS
DISCOVERED AS NEXT ON THE LIST OF THE OUTSTANDING CONTRACTORS WHO HAVE NOT
YET RECEIVED THEIR FUND.
I WISH TO INFORM YOU NOW THAT THE SQUARE PAGE IS NOW IN SQUARE HOLE AND
YOUR PAYMENT IS BEING PROCESSED AND WILL BE RELEASED TO YOU AS SOON AS YOU
RESPOND TO THIS LETTER. ALSO NOTE THAT FROM THE RECORD IN MY FILE, YOUR
OUTSTANDING CONTRACT PAYMENT WORTH OF US$10,500,000.00 (TEN MILLION SEVEN
HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS)IS RELEASED TO YOU AS LONG AS YOU
CAN GET BACK TO ME URGENTLY.
KINDLY RE-CONFIRM TO ME THE FOLLOWINGS:
YOUR FULL NAME:
YOUR FULL ADDRESS:
DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER:
YOUR SCANNED DRIVERS LICENCE:
AS SOON AS THE ABOVE MENTIONED NEEDED IS WELL RECEIVED BY ME.YOUR PAYMENT
WILL BE MADE TO YOU VIA ATM MASTERCARD DELIVERY IN-ACCORDANCE TO WORLD BANK
AND IMF RECOMMENDATIONS. A DIPLOMAT WITH INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL IMMUNITY WILL
BE CONTRACTED TO DELIVER THE ATM CARD AT YOUR DOORSTEP.
NOTE-ANY E-MAIL YOU RECEIVE WITHOUT THIS CODE (UNITY) DO NOT RESPONSE TO
THAT. AND BEAR IN MIND THAT AS SOON AS WE RECEIVED THIS INFORMATION THE
COURIER COMPANY WILL BE DISPATCHED WITH YOUR PACKAGE TO UNITES STATE OF
AMERICA, PLEASE DO CO-OPERATE WITH THE DIPLOMATS COURIER COMPANY, SO THAT
YOU CAN HELP GET THE DELIVERY REQUIREMENTS IN YOUR COUNTRY.
I AM WAITING YOUR REPLY
MR. GODWIN EMEFIELE
GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN)