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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "abuja" (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: "Hon. Dr. Garuba Gambo" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 15:26:34 +0100
Subject: Re: PAYMENT AUTHENTICATION.
FROM.Hon. Dr. Garuba Gambo
Minister, Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Maputo Street Zone 3
Re: PAYMENT AUTHENTICATION.
I am Hon. Dr. Garuba Gambo, Minister Foreign Affairs Ministry; my office monitors and controls the affairs of all banks and financial institutions in Nigeria concerned with foreign contract payments. I am the final signatory to any transfer or remittance of huge funds moving within banks both on the local and international levels in line to foreign contracts settlement.
I have before me list of funds, which could not be transferred to some nominated accounts as these accounts have been identified either as ghost accounts, unclaimed deposits and over-invoiced sum etc. I write to present you to the federal government that you are among the people expecting the funds to be transferred into their
account, on this note; I wish to have a deal with you as regards to the unpaid certified contract funds.
I have every files before me and the data's will be to change to your name to enable you receive the fund into your nominated bank account as the beneficiary of the fund's amount $20 Million U.S.D.
As it is my duty to recommend the transfer of these surplus funds to the Federal Government Treasury and Reserve Accounts as unclaimed deposits, I have the opportunity to write you based on the instructions i received 2 days ago from the Senate Committee on Contract Payments /Foreign Debts to submit the List of payment reports / expenditures and auditedreports of revenues. Among several others, I have decided to remit this sum following my idea that we have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this legally.
1. You will give me 65% of the total contract funds as soon as you confirm it in your designated bank account.
2. This deal must be kept secret forever, and all correspondence will be strictly by email / telephone, for security purposes.
3. There should be no third parties as most problem associated with your fund release are caused by your agents or representative.
If you AGREE with my conditions, l advise you on what to do immediately and the transfer will commence without delay as I will proceed to fix your name on the Payment schedule instantly to meet the three days mandate. I hope you don't reject this offer and have the funds transferred.
Waiting for your reply soon.
Hon. Dr. Garuba Gambo
FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER.
The information in this message and in any attachments, contains confidential information and is intended solely for the attention and use of the addressee(s).