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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "million 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)
- "executive governor" (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: THE GOVERNORS WIFE <email@example.com>
Date: 25 Mar 2011 08:53:35 +0000
Subject: Re: AN URGENT MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNORS WIFE.
Atten: Sir/ Madam,
I am Mrs. Nkoyo Ibori,wife to Chief James Ibori, the former Executive Governor of Delta State.Without much ado I have to go straight to the point of my having contact to you. Right now I am undergoing a serious persecution from President Goodluck Jonathan over allleged misappropriation of funds by my husband when he was the governor of our state. Kindly visit these three websites for more information clarification regarding this matter read carefully:
Resulting from this my resolve to move to a third party a huge sum of money we have deposited with a financial institution offshore through a foreign beneficiary who will receive, invest and manage this funds on our behalf pending when this clear up On completion of the transfer necessary commissions will be paid.
Meanwhile, my aim is to move one hundred million dollars (100 000 000 00 M usd) as soon as possible to a foreign account which will be in that account until the end the upcoming election by may 2011.
To enable us get started you need to immediately forward to me a brief profile of yours, like telephone as well as fax number and address also do not forget to include your bank details where this fund will be transferred into.
Mrs Nkoyo Ibori
Wife of the formal governor of Delta State.