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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (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: Gen James Morgan <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 22:40:42 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY PAYMENT.
THE PRESIDENCYÂ Â
Aso Rock villa, Asokoro District, Abuja
Direct Security Line +234-812-244-4710.
CONFIDENTIAL DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY PAYMENT.
I am Lt General James Morgan (Rtd), National Security Adviser to the new Nigerian President Jonathan Good luck Federal. I am delighted to inform you that the contract panel, which just concluded itâs seating in Abuja just released your name amongst contractors to benefit from the Diplomatic Immunity Payment.Â This Panel was primarily delegated to investigate manipulated contract claims, contracts and over-invoiced payment as the effect has eaten deep into the economy of our dear country.
However, we wish to bring to your notice that your contract profile is still reflecting in our central computer as unpaid contractor while auditing was going on.Â Your contract file was forwarded to my office by the auditors as unclaimed fund, we wish to use this medium to inform you that for the time being Federal Government of Nigeria have stopped further payment through bank to bank transfer due to contractors numerous petitions to United Nations against Nigeria on wrong payment and diversion of contract funds to different account.
In this regards we are going to send your contract part payment of 10Million USD. To you via our accredited shipping company and I have secured every needed documents to cover the money. Note: The money is coming on 2 security proof boxes. The boxes are sealed with synthetic nylon seal and padded with machine. Please you don't have to worry for anything, as the transaction is 100% risk free. The boxes are coming with a Diplomatic agent who will accompany the boxes to your house address. All you need to do now is to send to me your full house address and your identity such as, international passport or drivers license and your mobile phone and telephone number, The Diplomatic Attache will travel with it. He will call you immediately he arrives your country's airport. I hope you understand me.
Please kindly get back to me today also with the requested information's so that we can proceed on this matter as soon as possible.
1)Your full name.
2)Phone, fax and mobile #.
3)company name, position and address.
4)profession, age and marital status.
5)Copy of int'l passport,drivers linsense,or any valid ID card.
Note: The diplomat does not know the original contents of the boxes. What l declared to them as the contents is Sensitive Photographic Film Materials for security reasons. I did not declare money to them please. If they call you and ask you the contents please tell them the same thing Ok. Call me on my direct phone +234-812-244-4710. or email and I will let you know how far I have gone with the arrangement. Confirm the receipt of this message and send the requirements to me immediately you receive this message. Please i need urgent reply because the boxes are schedule to live as soon as we hear from you. Call me immediately.
Lt General James Morgan (Rtd).
National Security Adviser to the President
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA