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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Elizabeth Jonathan" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 09:43:03 -0000
Subject: I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE
I decided to contact you by email due to the urgency of this business. My name is Mrs. Elizabeth Jonathan, the Chief Accountant of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (N.N.P.C). Nigeria is the Eight (8) oil producing country in the World and my Ministry the N.N.P.C is in charge of extracting and selling Nigeria crude oil. Since last year 2008, there has been serious crashed of the price of crude oil at the OPEC international oil market and this price has continue to go down everyday because of the World Economic Financial Crises which has seriously affected oil prices and we thank God that the prices is coming up now.
Because of the continue fall of crude oil price, I was opportune as the Chief Accountant of the N.N.P.C to divert the sum of $12Million U.S Dollars out from the crude oil sales for the Month of January 2009 because our sales account recording is know more stable and I diverted this $12Million from the N.N.P.C main account to an Escrow Suspends account of the N.N.P.C so that this amount cannot be trace by anybody later in the future. I decided to divert this amount because I will soon be retiring from my job. I need your full assistance in receiving this $12Million because I cannot receive it by myself since am still a staff of my Ministry otherwise this business will be expose. I need a foreign partner like you that will stand as a foreign contractor before this amount can be paid to you? This business is 100% risk free for you and me otherwise I would not have involve myself as a married woman with family. For your assistance your share will be 40% out of this $12Million while my share will be 60% and this
Can you get a Crude Oil buyer because we have Crude Oil available for sell if you can get a serious buyer?
Mrs. Elizabeth Jonathan