.NExT Web Security - Fighting 419 (Nigerian Advanced Fee Fraud) and other internet scams. Providing International Law Enforcement, investigators and anti-scam specialists with effective tools to combat internet crime.
Serving International Law Enforcement, Investigators and Anti-scam Specialists
Countries visiting Next Web Security - 419 Nigerian Advanced Fee Fraud

419 - Nigerian Advanced Fee Fraud
Scam Types and Variants

Written specifically for NextWebSecurity.com and published here, courtesy of the 419 Coalition    

Note: Be advised that the list of 419 (Nigerian Advanced Fee Fraud) scam types and variants below does not include all possible variants. Do not assume that if it is not on this list that the email sent to you is legitimate. For additional information on how to identify these scams, please see the Top 10 Warning Signs page. Be scam aware. Be educated. Always remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.


  • ATM Card 419 Scam: The ATM Card Payment Scam is used in conjunction with other scams, such as a fake Lottery Scam, Unpaid Contractor Scam or similar exploits. The victim is promised an ATM card with which the victim can withraw millions dollars (up to a large limit per day) at any location that accepts ATM cards. However like all Advance Fee Frauds, the victim must pay a fee to receive the card. If it ever is received, it will not work. A "Replacement card" will be offered, again for a fee. - NWS

  • Auction 419 Scam: The 419er "wins" an auction on eBay or another auction site, then "overpays" for the item with a check or money order. The 419er then asks the target to send him the overage and the scam segues into Cashier's Check 419.

  • Black Currency 419 Scam: The 419er has a large amount of currency available to share with the target, but the currency has been defaced. However, the currency can be cleaned if the target will purchase enough of the correct cleaning solution (this type of 419 is also called "wash wash"). Black Currency 419 "tales" and techniques are commonly used in many other types of 419 operations.

  • Cashier's Check 419 Scam: The 419er has Cashier's Checks or money orders he/she needs cashed, and the target can keep a percentage of the check for cashing it and forwarding the proceeds net his commission to the 419er. Then the original check or money order sent to the target eventually bounces, and the target is out the money advanced to the 419er. The target also is cash out to his bank for any problems with his account caused by the bouncing of the original check as he must make up any overdrafts and pay any relevant fees etc. Many other types of 419 are in actuality variants of Cashier's Check 419.

  • Charitable Organization 419 Scam: The 419er approaches a charitable organization with a request for help, usually about getting a large sum of money transferred out of a country in which the charitable organization's brethren can claim to be persecuted. A percentage of the proceeds is often offered to the charitable organization for their assistance. The 419er needs monies for fees in order to get the monies freed up.

  • Chat Room 419 Scam: The 419 meets the target online in a chat room etc. or through a dating or instant messenger online service, befriends the target, and gets the target to advance him/her monies for various reasons. Often segues into Romance 419 or Cashier's Check 419.

  • Classic 419 Scam: The 419er has or can gain access to a large sum of money by some means and he/she needs the financial and personal help of the target, in return for a percentage of the funds, to get the necessary transactions processed and get monies out of the country. Many other types of 419 are in actuality variants of Classic 419. Also, Classic 419 often segues into Black Currency 419.
    To view the lifecycle of the classic 419 scam, click here.

  • Classified Ad 419 Scam: The 419er buys something from a classified ad and then pays with a bad check or segues into Cashier's Check 419.

  • Disaster 419 Scam: The 419er says someone has been killed in a plane crash, earthquake, tsunami, or other disaster, leaving a large sum of money behind which can be claimed by the target or split between the target and the 419er if the 419er can be advanced the monies necessary to process the transaction. Often segues into Black Currency 419.

  • Employment 419 Scam: The 419er "employs" the target to process financial transactions for a commission and has the target advance the net proceeds of these transactions to the 419er before the checks sent to the target bounce (segues into Cashier's Check 419). Also, another form, where the 419er offers a lucrative job to the target but certain fees must be paid up front by the target to get the job.

  • Extortion 419 Scam: The 419er says that if the target does not send him money the 419er will hurt or kill the target and/or his family.

  • Goods and Services 419 Scam: The 419er orders goods or services advanced to him on credit and then does not pay or pays with a bad check, often segues into Cashier's Check 419.

  • Inheritance 419 Scam: The 419er informs the target that someone has died with no relatives to claim the large cash bequest left by the deceased. Often, the 419er says that if someone does not claim the money it will revert to the Government and no-one will get it. The target is asked to "stand in" as a relative to claim the money, with the 419er taking care of all the details, and then split the proceeds with the 419er. The 419er needs monies for fees to get the target declared the rightful inheritor.

  • Lottery 419 Scam: The 419er says the target has won a lottery, but fees and taxes etc.must be paid before the proceeds can be released.

  • Oil Scam 419 Scam: The 419er has secured a large amount of oil at below market prices, and the target can get in on the deal for a fee.

  • Real Estate 419 Scam: The 419er wants to buy real estate, but cannot free up his monies just now to do it, so he asks the target to advance him/her all or some of the funds for the purchase in return for partial ownership of the real estate or a large future fee to be paid to the target.

  • Recovery 419 Scam: The 419er claims he/she can recover monies lost by the target in a previous 419 operation, but fees must be paid in advance to accomplish this.

  • Reload 419 Scam: The 419er approaches a target who has already been 419ed and offers the target another type of 419 deal to enable the target to "replace" his/her lost monies or the 419er claims has can bring the previous deal to fruition, if necessary fees are paid by the target.

  • Reshipper 419 Scam: The 419er will attempt to obtain stolen merchandise for personal use or to sell. Because many companies will not send merchandise to Nigeria or Eastern Europe due to warnings about stolen credit card purchases, the scammer must find an in-country person to receive then reship the goods. Click the link for a complete description.

  • Romance (Love or Dating) 419 Scam: The 419er is in love with the target, but needs money to clear up various problems the 419er is having before he/she can be with the target, often segues into Cashier's Check 419.

  • Unpaid Contractor 419 Scam: In this variant of the Classic 419 Scam Advance Fee Fraud, the scammer will claim to be with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) or some government ministry. The name of CBN president Charles Soludo is often used in this scam. The victim is told to pose as a contractor who has not yet been paid by the Nigerian government from a "completed project". The money is to be split between victim and the scammer. Paynemts from the victim will be required to participate in this crime.

  • War Booty 419 Scam: The 419er says he is a trooper who has stumbled across a large sum of war booty and will pay the target a percentage if the target helps him/her personally and financially to get it out of the country. Often segues into Black Currency 419.

  • Will Scam 419 Scam: The 419er informs the target that a distant relative has died leaving a large sum of money which the target can inherit if the proper fees are paid.

Important Notes:

Nearly all forms of 419 are Advance Fee Fraud.

It is a common canard that 419ers "reach into their target's bank account" end empty it. That is not how 419ers operate. 419ers count on their targets to VOLUNTARILY send funds to the 419er, for whatever reason.

Nigerians have come to commonly use the term 419 to refer to all types of cheating, misrepresentation, embezzlement, graft, bribery, corruption, trickery, and anything that is not on the "up and up" - However, 419 Technically remains the "obtaining of money or goods by false pretence" and is considered to be a primarily West African variant of Advance Fee Fraud (AFF) crime.

Written specifically for NextWebSecurity.com and published here, courtesy of the 419 Coalition    


Protect your PC with
NWS Recommended Tools



Visit NExT Web Security's
NWS Recommended Tools



Protect your PC with
NWS Recommended Tools