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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Olusegun Aganga"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 16:13:33 -0500
Subject: URGENT MESSAGE FOR YOU...DR.OLUSEGUN AGANGA
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE.
Office of the Minister of Finance
12 LEKKI PENNINSULA, LAGOS-NIGERIA.
TEL: +234-80-9068-3926 (Hot-Line)
Date: 19th July 2010.
ATTN: Beneficiary. PAYMENT FILE NUMBER: A
Release/Transfer Notice for your due Funds (US$1,500,000:00).
Payment File No: A.
It is very important that the recipient of this Letter should call this office inother to confirm it to us that this very Letter was received by the true beneficiary.
You are advised to read this Letter very carefully because every paragraph explains what you need to know about the Release and Transfer of your due Funds.
At this point, we wish to remind you to stop all further contact with any person or person(s) whom is not recommended by this Ministry. Our Intelligence Monitoring Unit (I.M.U), Code of Conduct Bureau, Legal Unit and The Nigerian Police Force (N.P.F) have already apprehended some of those suspects whom attempted to divert your Funds.
You are advised to stop all further contact with some scammer you have been dealing with, that have defrauded you of huge sums because they are WANTED criminal suspects.
As the honourable Minister of Nigeria, I work on behalf of the Paying Bank of Nigeria (Platinum Habib Bank) under the supervision of the honourable President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We are glad to announce it to you today that the honourable President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Accountant General of the Federation have collectively Approved and signed the Order to Release and Transfer being the certified documentation authorizing us (The Federal Ministry of Finance) to credit your nominated Bank Account..
A copy of the Order to Release and Transfer have been forwarded to our international remittance department for the onward crediting of your Funds.
In other words, we put it to you that we are ready to remit your said Funds into your choiced Bank Account because we have a 3-4 working days time constrain to Pay-off each beneficiary short-listed to be Paid by this Ministry. Our Legal Unit have already reviewed your Payment Files and they have passed it on to my desk for me to Pay you accordingly, so be rest assured that you will receive your due Funds as soon as possible. Officially, you will receive your due Funds via an "Electronic Wire Transfer" which will enable your Funds reflect in your choiced Bank Account within 48hrs after effect. This mode of Payment is defined as one of the best and safest mode to remit huge Funds internationally as it is absolutely different from the usual swift transfer which takes longer time. Most Banks within the United States of America, Europe and other developed countries operate with the "Electronic Wire Transfer" for international transfers because it is a recent innovation in the Ban!
Certainly we shall transfer your valued US$1,500,000:00 from the Sundry/Suspense Account of the Federal Government of Nigeria being the official Account for international/foreign Payments/debts. A Sundry/Suspense Account can be defined as a secret Account owned by a government and operated by certain assigned government officials being the authorized signatories whom must sign before Funds can be remitted from such account. For this very account no form of direct withdrawals can be made from it except a Bank to Bank wire transfer which must be Approved by the honourable President being the principal signatory to the account.
Consequent to the fact that I am responsible to Pay you, it is still my duty to enlighten you on the accurate steps to take in order for you to gain full possession of this said Funds being Approved in your name.
In the combat against fraud, Funds divertion and Funds delay, we have re-lenghtly ensured that several foreign beneficiaries have been Paid accordingly in order to retain and rekindle our country's reputation on the global map because this recent government dispensation is focused and targeted to relieve all foreign debts as mandated by The Senate, The National House of Assembly, The Federal Executive Council (F.E.C), Code of Conduct Bureau and The Federal Ministry of Finance (F.M.F). Already, alot of foreign beneficiaries have been Paid by this Ministry so yours will not be an exception considering the fact that the honourable President have Approved your due Funds today dated 19th July 2010.
In accordance to section (1) paragraph 9 of the Settlement Edict Law of The Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1992, it is imperative that you provide us with the below listed information so that we can Pay you.
1. Bank Name and Address.
2. Bank Account Number.
3. Routing Number/Swift Code (very important).
4. Your Residential Address.
5. Your mobile or home telephone Number.
6. A form of identification (I.D Card or Driver's License) is also required for official references.
The TRUTH is what we stand for. TEL:+234-80-9068-3926.
This Official Letter is being issued to you by "The Federal Ministry of Finance" in collaboration with The Presidency.
The Accountant General of The Federation.
Platinum Habib Bank (Bank PHB).
The President's office.
Dr. Olusegun Aganga.
Minister Of Finance
Federal Republic Of Nigeria.
Direct Tel: +234-80-9068-3926