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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Terry Mark" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 10:30:49 +0100
Subject: STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL..
We are making this contact with you after satisfactory information gathered from the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce. Based on this, we are convinced that you will provide us with a solution to effect remittance of the sum of $35,500.000.00 resulting from over costing of job/services done for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), by foreign companies.
We are top officials of NNPC. We evaluate and secure approvals for payment of contracts executed for NNPC. We have tactfully raised values to a foreign company for onward disbursement among ourselves the Director of Accounts/Finance and Director of Audit. This transaction is 100% safe. We are seeking your assistance and permission to remit this amount into your account.
We have agreed to give you 25% of the total value, while our share will be70%.The remaining5% will be used as refund by both sides to off set the cost that must be incurred in the areas of public relations, engaging of legal practitioner as attorney, taxation and other incidentals in the course of securing the legitimate release of the fund into your account.
Please indicate your acceptance to carry out this transaction urgently on receipt of this letter. I shall in turn inform you of the modalities for a formal application to secure the necessary approvals for the immediate legitimate release of this fund into your account.
Please understand that this transaction must be held in absolute privacy and confidentiality.
Please respond if you are interested through my alternative address email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your co-operations.