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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "nigeria national petroleum corporation" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (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: "Mr.Paul Egoma" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2013 21:26:44 +0700
Subject: From.Mr.Paul Egoma
Dear Good Friend,
FirstI must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and secret. Though, I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make anyone apprehensive and even worried. But I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day. I have decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction.
Letme start by introducing myself properly to you. I am Mr. Paul Egoma, chief credit/ Account Officer of SKYE BANK Plc, Lagos Nigeria. I contact you with believe that you are reliably, discreetness and have ability to handle this confidential transaction, which involves transferring of unclaimed fund to a foreign account requiring maximum confidence.
AFrench citizen, late engr. Muller Jean Maria, an oil merchant and construction engineer with the Nigeria National petroleum corporation NNPC), until his death last Nine years ago in china air bust (A310-300) flight Kg 30, Deposited with us at SKYE BANK PLC in Lagos, US$ 20.5M, (Twenty Million, Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars Only), The Bank now expects a next of kin as beneficiary. Serious efforts are being made by SKYE BANK PLC to get in touch with any of Maria's family or relatives but to no avail.
There is a perceived possibility of not beingable to locate any of late Engr.Muller Jean Maria next of kin (he had no wife or children known to us.) The management under the influence of our chairman and members of the Board of Directors has made arrangement for the fund to be declared "Unclaimed" and subsequently transfer into their personal account.
ln order to avert this negativedevelopment, I now seek your permission to have you stand as next of kin to Late Muller Jean Maria, so that the fund US$ 20.5Million will be released and paid to your account as beneficiary or next of kin. All documents and proofs to enable you get this fund will be carefully worked out. We have secured from the probate an order of mandamus to locate any of the deceased beneficiaries. I have agreed to share the fund this way 50% for you, 50% for me. I am are assuring you that this business is 100% risk free, and need only maturity from all the parties involved. As soon as I receive acknowledgment of your acceptance of this our mutual business proposal, we will proceed into action.
If this proposal is acceptable by you, do take advantage of the trust we have bestowed on you, get in touch with me immediately.