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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "NNPC ADMIN" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 09 Jun 2009 00:13:33 +0100
Subject: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
I am, ENGR. Mohammed S Barkindo,THE New GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR, NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (NNPC) I wish to inform you that We have actually decided to investigate the unnecessary delay of your payment,recommended and approved claims for payment is certified as genuine in your favor.
During the course of our investigation,we discovered with dismay that your payment has been unnecessarily Delayed by corrupt officials of the Bank, who are Trying to divert your Fund into their private accounts,to forestall this, we have established security in the form of personal Identification number (PIN) and your transfer access code (T.A.C), this will enable only you have direct Control over this fund.
We have also agreed with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)that, we will handle this payment ourselves to avoid the hopeless situation created by these corrupt Officials. We have obtained Payment Order for your Payment, from the World Bank and International Monetary Funds (IMF). We are happy to notify you that based on our recommendation/instructions; the payment of US$ 30.000.000 (THIRTY MILLION, DOLLARS) will be paid into your account from our Crude Oil Account via our overseas paying bank, in United States of America or United Kingdom.
You are therefore advice to contact this office immediately for the release of the payment. You should know that our main motive of contacting you is to remit the US$30, Million in to your bank account of your choice. NOTE: Kindly forward your private telephone/mobile number and fax number, so that we can open communication with you immediately; for more elaborate discussion and to avoid delay.
Awaits your timely response.