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:
- 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:
- "from: the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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: "CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2016 06:41:52 +0200
Subject: RE: YOUR OVERDUE FUND CREDIT TRANSFER VIDE OFF-SHORE CORRESPONDENCE BANK
FROM: THE DESK OF,
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA.
THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT THE MANAGEMENT OF CENTRAL BANK HAD REACHED A COMPROMISED WITH HER OFF-SHORE CORRESPONDENCE BANK, ON INSTRUCTION FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA, TO URGENTLY DEBIT THE ACCOUNT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA FOR A CREDIT TRANSFER OF YOUR OVERDUE FUND WITHIN 7 DAYS.
YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE YOUR DIRECT HOME/OFFICE ADDRESS AND BANKING INFORMATION, TO ENABLE MY ABLE OFFICE ENDORSE A TELEX TRANSFER APPROVAL .NOTICE TO THE OFF-SHORE CORRESPONDENCE BANK TO FINALIZE THE FUND TRANSFER WITHIN THE STIPULATED TIME FRAME..
YOU ARE HEREBY EXPECTED TO FURNISH US URGENTLY WITH THE ABOVE REQUESTED INFORMATION, TO ENABLE THE CENTRAL BANK OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR FACILITATE ALL LEGAL ARRANGEMENT FOR YOUR FUND PAYMENT AS AN INSTRUCTION FROM PRESIDENCY/NATIONAL ASSEMBLY..
MR. GODWIN EMEFIELE
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA.