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)
- "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.
- 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: "OFFICE OF PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONTHAN" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2011 12:44:17 -0700
Subject: DIRECT PAYMENT FROM PRESIDENT JONATHAN/CALL ME ON PHONE.
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY
FROM THE DESK OF HIS EXCELLENCY
PRESIDENT GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN,GCFR.
PRESIDENT/COMMANDER IN CHIEF
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
RE: PRESIDENTIAL GAZETTE/ DIRECT PAYMENT TO BENEFICIARY FROM MR.PRESIDENT
Please note that due to litigation's and complaints from friendly country Leaders and Heads of States most especially United States of America and the United Kingdom and series of petitions from various Inheritance/Lotto and Contract beneficiaries to my office about there inability to claim they due funds which i have already approved since i took over as the President of this great Nations and which have not been paid to them by my appointed authorities because of sabotage and extortion i have decided to personally decided to handle the release of your approved sum of US$2.5Million only through my office and in my personal capacity as the Leader of this Nations.
Furtherance to the above feel free to call me on this my direct mobile number:234-8058875754 without any encumbrances as am at your service,call me or send an email to me with your full details on how you want to receive your above sum and if you have any complaint as well let me know,but i will be very happy to speak with you on phone so that i will hear from you one on one as our esteemed beneficiary.
Please once more accept my apologies for any inconveniences from the past administrations and the failure of my subordinates to carry out a simple assignment because of greed including the Central Bank Governor and the Minister for Finance and assuring you that such will NEVER happen again,as soon as i hear from you i will tell you what to do before your payment will be released directly from my office through one of my trusted aid in the Presidency here.
Urgently waiting for your call immediately you receive this Official President Letter hence you just have to fulfill a very simple obligations and your payment made through your preferred mode of payment.
Accept my apology once again.
Yours in service.
Dr.Good Luck Ebele Jonathan GCFR.
President/Commander in Chief Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Direct Email: firstname.lastname@example.org