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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "stamp duty" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Alex Duru." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 07:05:53 -0400
Subject: Unpaid contract sum...why you have not succeeded
After waiting to hear from you and your Nigerian partners for a long time now, I decided to make this approach to you so that I will not be as if I have anything in mind against you. Sometime ago your Nigerian partners I mean the people that introduced you into this deal ask me through my dear wife who works with the federal ministry of finance to help you change from our computer vetting system the original contractors name and details and replace it with your own name.
The said that they will pay me US$300,000, I did as the said and demanded to be paid the US$300,000, do you know that up till now I have not set my eye on any of them. Based on their attitude I decided to stop the fund release movement because I can not be denied my right in my own office considering the fact that I am the only person privileged to know this deal that you did not execute any contract in Nigeria and only me can perform the magic again. The truth of the matter is that your partner failed to stamp duty your contract approval/claim.
Right now I do not want the US$300,000 any longer but a good compensation from your mind. I want those your friends to be kept totally out of this transaction. Stop spending your money to CBN officers both here and oversees because you will not receive your money unless my hands is in it.
I will send you a fund release document and after that I will remit the money under 48hrs to any of your nominated bank account you will send to me. I am a man of my words, if truly you want this money call me on my direct duty mobile line 234 802 680 1538 so that we can have a chat over this issue once and for all but if the reverse is the case, do not bother to contact me and forget about the money.
Dr. Alex Duru.
Chairman, Dept Reconciliation Committee.