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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "30% for you " (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)
- "i got your address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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.
- 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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Please Read" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 13:23:56 -0700
Subject: Dear Sir,Please Read and Respond if you are Interested
Mr. John J.Reagan
Chairman, Contract Review Committee
Federal Ministry of Aviation
Tel No: +234-8023 490 933
I'm aware that this unexpected mail will come to you as a surprise but I apologize if I have infringed on your privacy. I am the Chairman of the newly inaugurated Contract Review committee for the Federal Ministry of Aviation (F.M.A). I got your address from a business directory and I have the pleasure of requesting your assistance of partnering with us in this business proposal herein below;
The Federal Government of Nigeria intends to privatize the 4 International Airports in Nigeria so as to make it more viable, resourceful and to eliminate undue wastage and fraud in the Aviation Sector. This privatization is in-line with the recommendations of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a prerequisite for future financial assistance to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Federal Ministry of Aviation (F.M.A). are heavily indebted to many companies and my committee has the mandate (task) of compiling the names of these companies and debt owed them and also recommend for payment, for all contracts that have been fully executed . With our position in the committee, which comprises of the Federal Ministry of Aviation (F.M.A) , Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and Central Bank of Nigeria Senior Officials , we have successfully secured for ourselves, the sum of US$48,231,000 (Forty Eight Million Two Hundred and Thirty One Thousand United States .Dollars only)
I have been mandated in trust by members of my committee, to seek a foreign partner into whose account we could transfer this over-inflated sum of US$48,231,000 (Forty Eight Million Two Hundred and Thirty One Thousand United States .Dollars only). hence I am writing you this letter. We have agreed to share the funds thus: (1) 65% for us (the committee members) , 30% for you (the account owner ) and 5% will be used in settling taxation and all local and foreign expenses that will be incurred in the course of this transaction. We have worked out all modalities to make the transaction a success and if you are interested and capable of assisting us we will require from you the following for immediate take-off of the transaction&n
(1) Your Name OR company name and full addresses, Telephone and Fax Number
(2) Your bank's name, Address, phone and fax number, Account name and Account Number, also your Bank Swift Code, IBAN or ABA Numbers.
The above stated requirements will enable us apply and procure the necessary legal approvals and documentation for the transfer of the payment to your provided account.
The legal documentation for approvals of the payment and its transfer to your account will be procured from the involved Government offices like FEDERAL MINISTRY OF AVIATION, FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, OFFICE OF THE ACCOUNTANT-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION AND FINALLY THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA which is the Government Bank saddled with the responsibility of transfer the payment after their scrutiny and this process may take between 7-10 working days
We are looking forward to doing this business with you and solicit absolute confidentiality from you in this transaction. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com