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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: DR NOSA OSASOU <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 6 Sep 2009 14:51:52 +0000
FROM: Dr.Nosa Osaso
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
Dear Sir, First, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction, this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly CONFIDENTIAL and TOP SECRET.Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make anyone apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day. We have decided to contact you by e-mail due to the urgency of this transaction. Let me start by first introducing myself properly to you. I am DR.NOSA OSASO, a Manager at the UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC, Lagos.
I came to know of you in my private search for a reliable and reputable person to handle a very confidential transaction which involves the transfer of a huge sum of money to a foreign account requiring maximum confidence. I am not too really sure if you are my long lost contact whom I am trying to reach, but in anyway, please do take this message with a good heart and report back to me if you are not the person I think you are. I would explain more latter.
THE PROPOSITION: A foreigner, late Engineer SANN CLARKE, an Oil Merchant / contractor with the federal Govenment of Nigeria, until his death three years ago in a ghastly air crash, banked with us here at UNION BANK, Lagos, and had a closing balance of USD$27.5M (Twenty Seven Million and Five hundred thousand,United States Dollars) which the bank now unquestionably expects to be claimed by any of his available foreign next of kin or alternatively be donated to a discredited trust fund for alms and ammunition at a military war college here in Nigeria.
Fervent valuable efforts has been made by the UNION BANK to get in touch with any of the CLARKE family or relatives but all have proved to no avail. It is because of the perceived possibility of not going to be able to locate any of late Engr. SANN CLARKE's next of kin (he had no known wife and children) that the management under the influence of our Chairman, board of directors, that an arrangement for the fund to be declared "UNCLAIMABLE" and then be subsequently donated to the Trust Fund for Alms and war in Africa and the world in general.
In order to avert this negative development, myself and some of my trusted colleagues here at the bank now seek for your permission to have you stand as late Engr. SANN CLARKE's next of kin so that the fund, USD$27.5M USD would be subsequently transferred and paid into your bank account as the beneficiary next of kin.
All documents and proves to enable you get this fund would be carefully worked out and we are assuring you a 100% risk free involvement. For your assistance, your commission would be 20%. 70% will be for myself and my colleagues for investment purposes in your country and the remaining 10% will be set aside to off set any exenses that would come up in the course of the transfer.
If this proposal is OK. by you and you do not wish to take advantage of the trust we hope to bestow on you and your company, then kindly get back to me and furnishing me with your most confidential telephone and fax numbers and exclusive e-mail so that we can forward to you the relevant details of this transaction. Please, reply us only through this most exclusive e-mail address: email@example.com
Thank you in advance for your anticipated co-operation.
DR. Nosa Osaso
UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC.
LAGOS - NIGERIA.