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 united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "inland revenue" (Tax offices mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. Even after you pay their fake tax demands you will still not receive the non-existent funds you have been promised. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Aminu Yusuf" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2009 01:49:09 -0800
Subject: Request For Urgent Business Relationship.
We have the pleasure to make this surprising but mutually benefiting business proposal.My name is MR aminu yusuf a member of the newly inaugurated committee for the privatization of the refineries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, in Nigeria. The members of the committee are interested in the importation of goods into the country with funds presently floating in the Central Bank of Nigeria / Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) foreign payments account. I got your address through the office of the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The federal military government of Nigeria, intends to lease the three existing petroleum refineries to private individuals and companies. This is to make the refineries more viable, resourceful and to eliminate
undue wastage and fraud. This privatization is in-line with the recommendations of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a prerequisite for future financial assistance.
The refineries are heavily indebted to many companies and my committee has the mandate (task) of compiling the names of these companies and debt owed them and also recommend for payment, all contracts
that have been fully executed. With our position in the committee, which comprises of my ministry, federal ministry of petroleum resources, Nigerian National Petroleum corporation (NNPC), the federal
Ministry of Finance (FMF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), we have successfully secured for ourselves, the sum of US $73,000,000 (seventy-three million United States Dollars). This sum was acquired
by carefully inflating the amount of indebtedness by this amount (US $73,000,000). We need a reliable company to be included in the list of companies to be paid. This company will be paid for a contract
executed in Kaduna Refinery in 1993.
I was therefore mandated in trust by members of the committee, to seek a foreign partner into whose account we could transfer the sum of US $73,000,000, hence I am writing you this letter. We have agreed to
share the funds thus:
1) 70% for us (the committee members)
2) 20% for you (the account owner)
3) 10% will be used in settling taxation and all local and foreign expenses that will be incurred in the course of this transaction
It is from our 70% that we wish to commence the importation business. We also need assurance from you that you will let us have our share once the inflated amount (US $73,000,000.00) is transferred into
The payment will be done by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its correspondent bank. What we need from you, is that you provide a vital account into which the funds will be transferred/lodged.
Note that this transaction is 100% safe and guaranteed since the law under which our committee was set up, has empowered us to disburse all the funds.
We shall commence the transfer of the funds immediately we receive the following information by Tel/Fax::
1) Your company name and full address
2) Your bank's name, telephone and fax number
3) Your account number and name of would be beneficiary
The above information will enable us put up letters of claim and job description to the respective ministries for the issuance of the mandatory fund release approval/recommendations. This way, your company
will be recognized and accepted as the beneficiary of the contract entitlements before the final remittance to your nominated account, by the Central Bank of Nigeria, being paying bank.
Note that we will be responsible for the payment of the federal inland revenue tax on behalf of your company and a contract agreement between your company and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
shall be drawn up and antedated showing that your company has a legitimate contract with the NNPC and must be paid.
We are looking forward to doing this business with you and solicit absolute confidentiality from you in this transaction.
Mr aminu yusuf