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:
- "million dollars" (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)
- 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: "Mr. Robert S.Gordon" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mr.Sanusi Lamido." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2011 12:55:37 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Fund Relocation Re-Profiling
Re: Fund Relocation Re-Profiling
I am Mr. Robert S. Gordon; one of the Executives of Contracts Appraisal and Payment Board here. I am contacting you for a mutual beneficial business with believe you will not disappoint or let us down at last. What you are about to read might sound like fiction but it is very, very real. I was mandated to contact you.
We deliberately âover-invoicedâ some major contracts awarded by the Federal Government for the 2010 FIFA SOCCER WORLD CUP. We have now arrived at the opportunity to transfer this over-invoiced amount out of here now that the football games are over, as the original foreign contractors have received their full payments leaving the over-invoiced amounts.
The amount is U.S$120 Million (One Hundred and Twenty Million Dollars). We inflated and over-invoiced the original contracts and approved payments using our connections and positions. Now that the original contractors have received their full payments; this inflated amount needs to be removed out of this country in order to eliminate suspicion. I am contacting you as a foreigner; in order to arrange with you the removal of this money from here because we cannot be able to remove the money under our names, considering restrictions guiding the civil service code of conducts. This money cannot be approved to a local resident, but can be approved to a foreigner because the money is in foreign currency hence we want you to stand as a âSub-Contractorâ. We shall present you as a sub-contractor to the original contractors and this $120 Million will be approved to your name or to a company we shall register for you locally through our connection. The money can be transferred in installments depending on your choice and security concerns. A perfect transfer strategy and legal structures would be put in place in your name, as we shall arrange back-up transfer documentations, and then apply for claims.
With our positions and influence here; this money would be re-profiled to your name and transferred to any oversea bank account/s you will
nominate; but with an assurance from you that this money will remain safe in your custody pending our arrival to join you for securing our share. After the transfer, all the documents relating to the transferred money will be destroyed immediately, in order to avoid future traces. For your involvement in this projectâ¦you will receive a 2.5% of the total money. Feel free to call or email me for further discussions and guidance on what is expected of you. We shall be counting on your sense of secrecy and confidentiality, to avoid risky exposure, considering sensitivity of this deal here. I am anxiously looking forward to your urgent response, so we can start off.
Mr. Robert S.Gordon
Tell: +27-73-240-9719 (call or email)
E Mail: email@example.com