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)
- "cost of transfer" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "economic financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- 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: "From Dr. Evans Egobia" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2012 02:43:51 -0800
FROM THE DESK OF: DR.EVANS EGOBIA
REF:TRANSFER OF US$35,500,000.00
IT IS WITH TRUST AND CONFIDENCE THAT I WRITE TO MAKE THIS URGENT BUSINESS PROPOSAL TO YOU.
I WAS ASSIGNED BY TWO OF MY COLLEAGUE TO SEEK FOR A FOREIGN PARTNER WHO WILL ASSIST US IN PROVIDING A CONVENIENT FOREIGN ACCOUNT IN ANY DESIGNATED BANK ABROAD FOR THE TRANSFER OF US$35,500,000.00 PENDING ON OUR ARRIVAL IN YOUR COUNTRY FOR UTILIZATION AND DISBURSEMENT WITH THE OWNER OF THE ACCOUNT.
THIS AMOUNT RESULTS FROM A DELIBERATE INFLATION OF THE VALUE OF A CONTRACT AWARDED BY OUR MINISTRY - THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE (FMA)TO AN EXPATRIATE COMPANY.THE CONTRACT HAS BEEN EXECUTED AND PAYMENT MADE TO THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTOR,REMAINING THE OVER-INVOICED AMOUNT OF US$35.5 MILLION,WHICH WE WANT TO TRANSFER THE FUNDS OUT THE COUNTRY IN OURFAVOUR FOR DISBURSEMENT AMONG OURSELVES.THE TRANSFER OF THIS MONEY CAN ONLY BE POSSIBLE WITH THE HELP OF A FOREIGNER WHO WILL BE PRESENTED AS THE BENEFICIARY OF THE FUND.
AS GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO OPERATE FOREIGN ACCOUNTS,AND THIS IS THE REASON WHY WE DECIDED TO CONTACT YOU. WE HAVE AGREED THAT IF YOU/YOUR COMPANY CAN ACT AS THE BENEFICIARY OF THIS FUND (US$35,500,000.00 MILLION)25% OF THE TOTAL SUM WILL BE FOR YOU FOR PROVIDING THE ACCOUNT WHILE 5% WILL BE SET ASIDE FOR THE EXPENSES INCURRED DURING THE COST OF TRANSFER OF THE FUND INTO YOUR ACCOUNT WHILE 70% WILL BE RESERVED FOR US.
WE HEREBY SOLICT FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PROVIDING A CONVENIENT ACCOUNT NUMBER IN A DESIGNATED BANK ABROAD WHERE THIS FUND WOULD BE TRANSFERRED.WE INTEND COMING OVER THERE ON THE COMPLETION OF THIS TRANSFER TO SECUREOUR OWN SHARE OF THE MONEY.
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE HAVE BEEN CAREFUL AND HAVE MADE ALL ARRANGEMENTS TOWARDS THE SUCCESS AND SMOOTH TRANSFER OF THE FUND TO YOUR ACCCOUNT BEFOREYOU. FOR SECURITY REASONS AND CONFIDENCIALITY OF THIS TRANSACTION, WE DEMAND THAT YOU SHOULD NOT EXPOSE THIS PROPOSAL AND THE ENTIRE TRANSACTION TO ANYBODY.
WE ARE PUTTING SO MUCH TRUST IN YOU WITH THE HOPE THAT YOU WOULD NOT BETRAY US. OR SIT ON THIS MONEY WHEN IT IS FINALLY TRANSFERRED INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.BEREST ASSURED THAT THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% RISK FREE. IF THIS PROPOSAL IS ACCEPTABLE TO YOU,INDICATE YOUR INTEREST BY SENDING A EMAIL TO US INCLUDING YOUR BANK NAME & ADDRESS,ACCOUNT NUMBER,TELEPHONE AND FAX
NOTE:OUR FORMER PRESIDENT OLUSEGUN AREMU OBASANJO COLLABORATED WITH THE FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE ECONOMIC FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION , MALLAM NUHUN RIBADU TO STOP THE JUNIOR RANKS OFFICERS FROM TRANSFERRING FUNDS OUT OF THE COUNTRY. HE SENT DIFFERENT PUBLICATION TO MANY COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD AS PROPAGANDA TO DISCOURAGE ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FROM TRANSFERRING FUNDS INTO AN OVERSEAS ACCOUNT TO AVOID AND SAVE GUIDES THE COUNTRIES ECONOMY.
APPARENTLY, SO THAT OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WILL NOT BENEFITS FROM THESE( OIL WINDFALLS VENTURE) WHERE HE HAS BEEN A CULPRIT ALONE WITH HIS AIDES.MORE DETAILS ABOUT THIS TRANSACTION WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU AS SOON AS WE RECEIVE YOUR POSITIVE RESPOND.
NOTE THAT THE PARTICULAR NATURE OF YOUR COMPANY'S BUSINESS IS IRRELEVANT TO THIS TRANSACTION. IF THIS TRANSACTION INTERESTS YOU, YOUR URGENT RESPONSE WILL BE APPRECIATED.
PRIVATE CELLPHONE +234-70-4060-9688