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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "contract award committee" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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:
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 02:13:53 +0100
Subject: Invitation For Iraq Supply Contract
Your esteem company was recommended to us as authorized suppliers/manufacturers/exporters of various items from your country. To introduce our selves to you, we are Iraq contract committee for contractors/suppliers/manufacturers importers in Iraq. We were set up by the Government of Iraq for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Government projects since the US led war in Iraq ended.
Presently we are actively engaged in sourcing of the under listed items for urgent contract supply to the Iraqi Government. Our recent expansion and desire to promote trade and industry link in your country has afforded us the opportunity to contact your esteem company, for an urgent contract supply of the under listed items:
1. Diesel Generators (Capacity: 100KVA - 1000KVA)
2. Power Transformers - Preferably Hyundai or Wilson (Capacity: 3PH 45/60MVA 154/23kV)
3. Road Construction Machinery (Pavers, Road Rollers, Bulldozers, Graders, Pipelayers, Wheel Loaders, Smoothing machines, Vibrators etc)
4. Heavy Duty Trucks (Trailers, Tippers & Excavators)
5. Heavy duties Cranes & Fork Lifts
6. Agro products and machineries (Tactors)
7. Security and Protection Equipments
8. Medical Equipments and Supplies
9. Solar Energy systems
10. Computer and Electronic Appliances
11. Speed boats
12. Security & Safety Equipments
13. Mining Equipments
14. Printing Machinery etc.
Kindly inform us of your interest and capability of handling this contract and state categorically the equipments that you can supply. The contract is detailed thus:
LOT NO: 00087/550097/IRQ-12.
ALLOCATION FOR 2012: US$650,000,000.00
DURATION: 18 MONTHS
LOCATION: MONSUL-BASRAH-UMM QASAAR AND BAGHDAD.
SHIPPING: CIF PORT OF UMM QASSAR,
ELIGIBILITY: REGISTERED LOCAL & INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES.
PAYMENT OPTION: WIRE TRANSFER (TT) 100% UPFRONT.
If you can supply any of the above listed equipments, do not hesitate to
inform us by mail so that we can stop further negotiations with other
foreign companies and direct you to our Offshore Recommendation Centre Based in the heart of Europe ( London : Brussels ). The O.S.R.C was setup because most of our suppliers find it hard travelling to Iraq to complete the contract formalities because of the feared civil unrest in the region.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Dr Abdul M. Khalid
A-K Associates Ltd
Engr. Masud Al-Mubarak
For: Contract Award Committee.
Khualafa Arrussfi Square
Baghdad, Republic of Iraq.
Mr. Henry A. Waxman Chairman: Oversight
Email Address: email@example.com
Private Email: firstname.lastname@example.org