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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: "Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 2 Jan 2010 05:53:42 -0800
Subject: FUND RELEASE VIDES RECONCILIATION
NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION, FALOMO OFFICE COMPLEX,
7 KOFO ABAYOMI STREET, IKOYI, LAGOS NIGERIA
FROM THE DESK OF DR. EDWARD. PHINE, OFRI, MNI
ACCOUNT GENERAL/CHAIRMAN OF THE CONTRACT PAYMENT COMMITTEE (CAC) NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (NNPC)
Our Ref: FGN/PRES-NNPC/APP/02190/09
ATTN: FUND BENEFICARY
FUND RELEASE VIDES RECONCILIATION
By reconciliatory resolution reached recently between the NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION and the three Arms of Nigerian Government over the non-Payment of Numerous NNPC foreign Financial claims including yours, this Corporation have thus resolved to established contact with you, with a view to verify, Scrutinized and recommend payment upon receiving your Confirmation to the following, as we are Presently confused on which account to make the transfer of the fund by the paying bank, having receiving recently, another account details with ank of America.
This as we believe Contradicts your earlier account details as recorded in your payment file with this Corporation.
Please clarify the following information.
1. Did you at any point in time transfer your right of ownership to one Mr. Thomas .G. Henderson to claim and receive the payment on your behalf?
2. Did you authorized Deed of Agreement in his favour thereby indicating the fund destination to the account of Mr. Thomas .G. Henderson as show below?
Account Name: Thomas .G. Henderson
Account No: 01068828732
Bank name: Bank of America
Swift code: BOSGB2S etc.
You are therefore required as a matter pf Urgency to confirm the legitimacy of the above claim and the reasons for such change. In the event you did not authorize such Claim, Please confirm to us immediately by way of application for disclaimer, also detailing your exact contract Payment, your enabling account Number tom enable us authenticate and normalize same accordingly.
All letters must be attention to the Account General/ chairman of the contract payment committee (CPC) Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)- DR. EDWARD. PHINE, OFR, MNT, on his Private Personal E-mail email@example.com
You are required to summit this application before the transfer will be effected as we are bound to recognize MR.THOMAS .G. HENDERSONS claim and release the payment if we do not receive your submission to this enquiry, as quick as possible.
Thanking you for your anticipated Co-operation.
DR. EDWARD.PHINE OFR. MNI
Accountant General/Chairman of the Contract Payment Committee (CPC).
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).