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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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 free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Danladi Bako" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 13:58:06 +0100
Subject: My Proposal
NIGERIA PORTS AUTHORITY
LAGOS PORT COMPLEX,
>From the desk of: DR.DANLADI BAKO
RE: URGENT & CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL
This proposal might come to you as a surprise, since it is from someone you do not know or have seen before, but based on FAITH, i had to contact you believing that you are reputable and as such you can not run away with my own share of this money when concluded.
I am the director/fund coordinator of the Finance Contract Department of Nigeria Ports Authority. The crux of this letter is that the finance / contract department of the NPA deliberately over-inflated the contract values of various contract awarded.In the course of disbursement, my office was able to track down the sum of US$23.5M as the over invoiced sum. This money is now floating in the NPA domiciliary account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). I and my colleagues now want to quickly transfer this fund to a safe nominated foreign account for possible investment abroad.We are not allowed as a matter of government policy to operate any foreign account because of our status as civil / public servants. Hence the need to solicit for your full banking details, to enable us transfer this money into your account.
Upon your acceptance of this proposal, we have also agreed on a sharing ratio;
1. 40% for you as the account owner
2. 55% for I and my colleagues
3. 5% will be set aside to defray all incidental expenses both locally and internationally during the course of this transaction.
Furthermore, we shall be coming over to your country when the money is finally in your account and we shall be relying on your advise as regards to investment of our share. Be informed that this business is genuine and 100% safe considering the high powered government officials involved.
Send to my E-mail address the following information:
1. Your Full names, company name and address.
2. Your telephone and fax number for effective communication
This is to effect the swift transfer of this fund into your account in less than seven (7) working days.Contact me strictly via my email address , while looking forward to a healthy business relationship with you.