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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- 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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "foreign 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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 11:30:24 -0400 (AST)
Subject: IMMEDIATE CONTRACT PAYMENT/ CONTRACT/INHERITANCE #:
FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
CONTRACT #: MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/009,
Our Ref: CBN/IRD/CBX/021/0
Telephone Number: +2347045352107
IMMEDIATE CONTRACT PAYMENT/ CONTRACT/INHERITANCE #: MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/009
On behalf of the entire members and staffs of the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN), I sincerely apologies for the delay of your payment and all the
inconveniences that we might have indulge you through. However, this
resulted from some minor problems with our payment system, which is
inexplicable, and this have held us stranded and indolent, not having the
aspiration to devote our 100% assiduity in accrediting foreign contract
and Inheritance payments. I apologies once again.
From the records of our outstanding contractors due for payment with the
Federal Government of Nigeria, your name and company was discovered as
next on the list of the contractors who have not yet received their
I wish to inform you that your payment is being processed and will be
released to you as soon as you respond to this urgent notification. Also
note that from the records in my file, your outstanding contract payment
is fourteen million, seven hundred thousand united State Dollars
Please re-confirm us with the following, and as soon as your information
is received, your payment will be made.
1) Your Full Name.
2) Phone, Mobile number/fax if any
3) Company Name, Position And Address.
4) Profession, Age and Marital Status.
5) Scanned Copy Of Your Int'l Passport.
6) Staff I.D card
7) Banking Infromation
a) Bank name:........
b) Bank address:......
c) Account number:...
d) Swift code:.......
e) Routing number:...
f) iban number:......
8) HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT ACCOUNT : YES OR NO
9) VISA CREDIT CARD OR MASTER CREDIT CARD : YES OR NO
10) Monthly Income :
AS SOON AS THE ABOVE MENTIONED DETAILS ARE RECEIVED, YOUR PAYMENT WILL BE
MADE TO YOU IMMEDIATELY, SO YOU ARE ADVICE TO CHOOSE ONE OUT OF THE FOUR
LISTED METHOD OF PAYMENT AND THE COST.
1, VIA DIPLOMATIC DELIVERY AS CONSIGNMENT :
2, BANK TO BANK WIRE TRANSFER :
3, VIA ATM CARD. :
4, NON-RESIDENT ONLINE ACCOUNT.:
I strongly recommend that, you should promptly start your clearance as
soon as possible. kindly reply with this e-mail Address,
for more clarification and for immediate transfer of your funds
Mr. Sanusi Lamido,
The new GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN).
NOTE: RESPONSE SHOULD BE MADE ON THIS EMAIL