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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "central bank of nigeria" (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.
- 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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.James Obi" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2013 07:52:12 -0600
Subject: Partnership Proposal
I am a member of the Federal Government of Nigeria Contract Award and Monitoring Committee in the Nigerian
National Petroluem Corporation(NNPC) Sometime ago, a contract was awarded to a foreign firm in NNPC by my Committee.
This contract was over invoiced to the tune of US$21.5M. U. S. Dollars. This was done deliberately.The over-invoicing was
a deal by my committee to benefit from the project. We now want to transfer this money which is in a suspense Account
with CBN into any Overseas Account which we expect you to provide for us.
For providing the account where we shall remit the money into, you will beentitled to 30% of the money,60% will be for me and my
partners while 10% has been mapped out from the total sum to cover any expenses that may be incurred by us during the course
of this transfer,both locally and international expenses.
It does not matter whether or not your company does contract projects of this nature described here. The assumption is that your
company won the major contract and subcontracted it out to other companies. More often than not, big trading companies or firms
of unrelated fields win major contracts and subcontracts to more specialized firms for execution of such contracts.
We have strong reliable connections and contacts at the Central Bank Of Nigeria(CBN),as well as the Federal Ministry of Finance and we
have no doubt that all the money will be released and transferred if we get the necessary foreign partner to assist us in this deal.
Therefore, when the business is successfully concluded we shall through our same connections withdraw all documents used from all the
concerned Government Ministries for 100% security.
We are ordinary civil servants and we will not want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to get rich. We want this money to be transferred
to the overseas Accounts for us, before the starts of the next financial quarter.Please contact me immediately whether or not you are interested
in this deal. If you are not, it will enable me scout for another foreign partner to carry out this deal. But where you are interested, kindly email me
with my private email address email@example.com for further details upon your acceptance of this proposal. as
time is of the essence in this business.
I wait in anticipation of your fullest co-operation,