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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "central bank of nigeria" (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: "allsetn onehe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2012 16:48:03 +0800
Subject: Re:mail me back
Please I am writing this letter in confidence believing that I can confide
in you, i got your contact information from the international directory
few weeks ago before i decided to contact you on this magnitude and
lucrative transaction so we may now continue this business venture in your
country, I hereby write to inform you of my Business Proposal to you and I
understand that this mail will come to you as a surprise.
However I want you to have in your mind that my words in this mail to you
is my bond and I am hoping you will go through it carefully, start by
introducing myself to you. I am the Treasury Controller, Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation [NNPC] and a close associate of the immediate past
Minister of Petroleum Resources. The Minister has mandated me to transfer
the sum of US$15.5 million Recovered from over-invoiced contracts
involving the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC] into private
A total sum of US$ 5 million has been transferred before the Emergence of
this present Civilian Administration, leaving the balance of US$10.5 I
have made proper arrangement/documentation to transfer the balance which
is retained with a safe code security company in Europe through the
support of the Central Bank of Nigeria. We are soliciting that you help us
to receive the fund in trust from the security company in Europe, I will
tell you later once I receive your information requested below.
We Cant complete this transaction smoothly without the participation of a
foreign partner, Since it is a contract payment, the funds must be
received by a foreign partner. The claiming of the funds requires little
documentation. There is no risk involved on your part in this transaction
since the Former Minister and I have covered this transaction with
adequate contract and external credit documents from the beginning. What
we require from you by e-mail are your Personal Information below.
You are therefore advised to send the following information to me to
facilitate the process, Send your Personal Information to me immediately:
Acceptance letter of this offer. Convincing Honesty, Trustworthiness and
Willingness to abide by the requirements of this proposal paramount of
which is CONFIDENTIALITY. we have agreed that you will retain 30% of the
entire US$10.5 million for your effort into the transaction, 70% for us
partners here, Please reply urgently by e-mail as we expect that the
transaction will not take more than 6 working days. And please note that
this transaction must be top secret.
Mr. allsetn onehe
"This email is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If the reader of this email message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender and destroy/delete all copies of the transmittal. Thank you."
This email was Anti Virus checked by Astaro Security Gateway. http://www.astaro.com