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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Umaru Attahiru" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2012 09:27:43 -0800
Good day to you. Please know that there is no error in my contacting you. I contacted you to assist me in an over invoiced contract executed in Nigeria this year and to enable me to transfer the sum of $205.5m to a safe account abroad.
I need your honesty and straight forwardness in this transaction. All you need to do is to act as a NNPC contractor who happened to execute a contract in Nigeria and the Federal government of Nigeria owes you the above sum of money, all paper work will be perfected in your favor once you respond positively to this proposal.
Do not entertain any atom of fear, I guarantee you that this a hitch-free transaction backed up by board members of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (N.N.P.C) and the Federal Ministry of Finance Nigeria involved in the deal, which am the "Chairman Board of Trustee" in charge of foreign contractors payment.
If you are interested, kindly furnish me with the information below for proper identification and commencement of the deal.
Scanned international passport or drivers license
Phone and Fax numbers
Receiving Bank Account Full details
Detailed Contact address.
I wait for your reply.