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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found 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: "Dr. Theresa N Azuka" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 11:00:36 -0700
Subject: CAN WE BE PARTNERS?
My names are Dr. Mrs. Theresa N. Azuka the chief executive officer of purchasing department of the Pipelines And Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC).
PPMC was set up as a subsidiary and strategic business unit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). PPMC is run in conformity with the management culture of total quality in pursuant to the directive of the parent corporation the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Its mission is; To ensure security of supply of petroleum products to the domestic/international market at low operating costs, market special products competitively in the domestic and international markets, provide excellent customer service by effectively and efficiently transporting crude oil to the refineries and moving petroleum products to the market.
I am mailing you to solicit for your assistance in receiving the sum of Twenty-Eight Million five hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($28.5m) deposited in one of the Banks here in Nigeria. These funds emanated from a contract that was awarded to a construction company for the supply and construction of oil pipe lines by purchasing department of the Pipelines And Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC). This contract has since been executed during the era of Late President Umaru Musa Ya'rdua but was commissioned by the President Dr. GoodLuck Ebele Jonatharn (GCFRN).The contractor has since been paid leaving behind the sum of Twenty Eight Million five hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($28.5m) that was over inflated by my very self .
The problem now is, there is no way I can lay claim to the funds without the assistance of a foreign partner hence I am contacting you to join hands with me by portraying you as a contractor and beneficiary of the funds ($28.5m).
Sir, if you are interested in assisting me in this project, kindly revert back to me by indicating your interest and I will furnish you with more information on this subject matter.
Finally, be rest assured that this transaction is 100% risk free as all the paper works that will be required by the ministry of finance to back up our claims are with me which I will be sending to you as we progress into this project..
Thanking you as I look forward to hearing from you.
Dr. Mrs. Theresa Ngozi Azuka.
Executive Director (PPMC)