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:
- 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:
- "contract award committee" (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: "DOSU MICHAEL" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2012 21:10:25 -0000
Hello my Friend,
My name is Dosu Michael, I am chairman contract award committee of the
Niger Delta Development Commission here in Nigerian[NDDC], I would love to
invest in a good lucrative venture as would be advised by you my partner.
I want to transfer and invest USD$48.6Million into your account for
investment purpose in ur country. I want you to receive this money in good
faith, there after, I and my partner will fly over to ur country for our
investment plan. Note that by accepting to be my partner, we have agreed
to share the money in the following percentages: 30 for you, 60 for us 10
for tax as may be required by your government.
This money came up as an over invoiced contract amount and We are left
with $48.6M for our own use. I am a civil servant in my country and we do
not have access to foreign accounts so that is why i seek partnership with
you to move this money successfully to ur country for investment.
In my next email, I will send you a brief biography of myself and also
send you a form which you will fill, This will be submitted to the
concerned ministry for immediate payment of the said fund.
As soon as we confirm receipt of this money in your nominated bank
account, my partner and I will come over to your country to arrange for
our own share and possibly invest part of this money in your country.
Let honesty and trust be our watchword throughout this transaction. I
shall furnish you with some details about myself. Your prompt reply will
be highly appreciated.
Dr DoSu Michael