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:
- "registration fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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. Maikanti Baru" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2019 17:12:12 +0530
Subject: Re: Front for contract claim.
I work with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), I am the assistance director of Contract Management Department. I want a reliable person who can front for me a transfer of the sum of US$ 10.5M (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) into his account outside the shore of Nigeria. This fund resulted from an over-invoiced bill from a contract awarded by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under my ministry and approval. The contract has been executed. Commissioned, the contractor has been paid his actual cost for the contract. A balance of US$ 10.5M as the over-invoiced amount is left in the system.
I need total co-operation from a foreigner to front for the immediate claim of this funds because the original contract was executed by foreign contractor. Upon your acceptance i will incorporate a company name for you here and secure all the necessary documents for the the release of this funds in your favour. Note that most of the documents will be back dated to suit the purpose of this transaction. Once i secure all necessary documents in your favour, i will send it from my office to Federal Ministry of Finance(FMF) for approval and i approval will be given and you will be asked to pay a contract registration fee by the Federal Ministry of Finance(FMF). Once you pay this fee the FMF will send authority to remit to Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and the CBN or her correspondence bank will remit US$10.5M (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) into your designated bank account and transfer slip will be sent to you.
Upon the receipt of the funds in your account you will be entitled to 40% of the total sum and 60% for me. If your are interested send your full names, telephone number, address and your bank details to immediately do all the necessary paper work and Process of this transaction will be done within 12 working days.
Dr. Maikanti Baru
Direct Mobile: +234 9076160141
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)