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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "NEIC" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 13:43:58 -0500
NATIONAL ECONOMIC INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE AUDIT /WIRE
TRANSFER DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR GENERAL
7th Floor New Federal Secretariat Complex
PMB 298 GARKI-ABUJA NIGERIA
PAYMENT PRE - ADVICE
BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT, IN LINE WITH DEBT PAYMENT ACT 512 "A"
OF 2007 AND IN CONSULTATION WITH THE RELEVANT BODIES, THE CENTRAL BANK OF
NIGERIA (CBN) AND THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE (FMF) WE HAVE RESOLVED
THAT ALL OVERDUE PAYMENTS BE RELEASED THIS QUARTER IN LINE WITH I.M.F AND
WORLD BANK AGREEMENT ON FOREIGN DEBTS. BE INFORMED THAT YOUR FUND IS
APPROVED FOR REMITTANCE,
BUT REPORTS REACHING THIS OFFICE FROM THE VERIFICATION UNIT OF THE CBN
INDICATES THAT AN AMERICAN NAME DENNIS L. MATTHEWS IN COLLABORATION WITH
SOME NIGERIAN REPRESENTATIVES HAVE REQUESTED FOR A CHANGE OF
BENEFICIARY'S ACCOUNT ON THE SAID APPROVED FUND, BUT WITHOUT VALID POWER
OF ATTORNEY WITH REGULAR SIGNATURE. FOR THIS REASON, YOU ARE REQUESTED TO
URGENTLY CONFIRM THAT THE APPLICATION FOR CHANGE OF BENEFICIARY IS
AUTHORIZED BY YOU. THAT THE APPROVED PART PAYMENT FUND OF USD10M (TEN
MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS) BE REMITTED INTO A NEW ACCOUNT. PLEASE I
NEED YOUR CONFIRMATION AND VERIFICATION ON THIS MATTER.
HERE IS THE WIRE TRANSFER INFORMATION PRESENTED BY DENNIS L. MATTHEWS AND
A/C NO: 3361 009420
A/C NAME: DENNIS L. MATTHEWS
IF YOU NEVER PERMITTED SUCH REQUEST, THEN STATE YOUR OBJECTION AND
RESTATE YOUR AUTHENTIC RECEIVING BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS,YOUR FULL CONTACT
DETAILS AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION IMMEDIATELY TO THIS OFFICE FOR
RECONCILIATION AND RELEASE OF YOUR FUND WITHOUT DELAY.
FINALLY, NOTE THAT INSTRUMENTS OF CREDIT HAVE BEEN RAISED FOR ADOPTION AT
DIFFERENT DESIGNATED LIAISON PAYMENT CENTERS PENDING YOUR CLARIFICATION,
SINCE THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE (NEIC) IS READY TO
BACK YOU UP WITH YOUR REQUEST ON THIS MATTER. ONCE MORE YOU ARE ADVISED
IN YOUR OWN INTEREST TO CONTACT THIS OFFICE WITHIN 48 HOURS AS NATIONAL
ECONOMIC INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE (NEIC) WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR
ANY WRONG TRANSFER OF FUND.
THANKS FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION.
DIRECTOR GENERAL (NEIC)