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:
- "you are required to pay " (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. )
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Godwin I. Emefiele." <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 19 May 2016 19:43:09 +0100
Subject: Your Cashier Bank Draft payment.
Dear Lucky Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that the Presidency has ordered the immediate
release of your payment valued at Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars only, the money has been approved via
an International Cashier Bank Draft which will be issued in your name
through our offshore banker in France. As soon as we confirm your
readiness we shall submit your names for final endorsement and you are
required to pay the Insurance Policy and Cost of Delivery been the
only financial obligation expected from you. This is to enable the
accredited Diplomatic Corp Officer assigned for this service to
deliver the original Hard Copy of your Draft to your destination
address within 48hrs express delivery, to claim your money, you are
advice to re-confirm the following information's listed below:
(1). Full Name:
I am willing to help but first you must trust me and trust in yourself
to bring this transaction to its conclusive nature o.k. You have
nothing to worry or be afraid of my friend as I will ensure you
receive your Cashier Bank Draft payable in your country's banks within
48hrs, we waits for your prompt response and God blessed.
Mr. Godwin I. Emefiele.
Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)