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:
- "million dollars" (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)
- "abuja" (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: "Director" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2012 06:59:37 -0700
Subject: Good Day
DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE
Our Ref: CBN/IRD/CBX/021/012
IMMEDIATE CONTRACT PAYMENT/BENEFICIARY OF NEXT OF KIN
Your file got to my desk few days ago through FMS office that you are
among people approved to be paid part payment of USD$10.5 million
dollars.from the records of outstanding foreign claims due for
payment with the Federal Government of Nigeria in the year 2012, as
your name/company is reflected on the list of those who to receive
their fund payment based on the recent United Nations Summit reached
agreement by Members Country Heads of States and president Dr Goodluck
Jonathan of Federal Republic of Nigerian,for the last quarter of year.
kindly re-confirm your details as below to enable this office process
and finalize your fund remittance without further delays.
1) Your full name.
2) Phone, fax and mobile #.
3) Company name, position and address.
4) Profession, age and marital status.
5) Total Amount owed you
5) A scanned copy of your int'l p/port/Drivers license for identification.
As soon as your above information are received and vetted your payment
will be made available to you via Telegraphic transfer "interbank transfer"
You should Send me an e-mail as soon as you receive this letter for
further discussion and more clarification.
Debt Management office
NOTE: RESPONSE SHOULD BE MADE IMMEDIATELY