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:
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "contract award committee" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned 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: "J C OKORO" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2012 16:07:00 +1000
Subject: SINCERE REQUEST
>From Dr. Jerry Okoro
Nigeria National Petroleun Corporation
P.O Box 6543 Victorian Island, Lagos
My name is Dr.Jerry Okoro. It is my pleasure to write this mail basically to seek your consent on transaction which involves transfer of an over-invoiced sum of money from my ministry to your bank account. The amount involved is US$40million. I am a member of the Contract Award Committee (CAC) in my ministry Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The amount was intentionally over-invoiced for our benefit. We have worked carefully to secure the approval of the fund since the original contract value has been paid on completion of the contract in 2010. Then the remaining balance of the US$40million is what we intend to transfer secretly to you using your bank account details.
The civil service code of conduct does not allow any serving officer to operate a foreign bank account, we are seriously handicapped to transfer the fund to an offshore account hence this contact to you. It is on this basis that I thought it wisely to use a foreigner to receiver the fund for our mutual benefit. We shall draw an agreement to back up this transaction and also to spell out our duties, sharing modalities and safety of the fund in your bank account.
If you are interested, please send the required informations as stated below.
1)YOUR FULL NAMES AND ADDRESS
2)YOUR MOBILE NUMBER,
3)NAME AND ADDRESS OF YOUR BANK
4)A/C NUMBER ,SWIFT CODE,ROUTING NUMBER AND A/C NAME
Summarily, there is no single risk involve having taken care of all forms of obstacles that would pose some risks in the deal. To avoid taking things for granted. The transaction will be processed legitimately with
all legal proof on the execution of the contract.