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:
- "contract award committee" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Contracts Award Review Panel <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 16:13:11 -0700
Subject: ATTN: INVESTMENT PARTNER NEEDED
Please take your time to read the message contained in this letter and
I am the Chairman of the Contract Award Review Panel as well as the Group
Executive Director Finance and Accounts of the NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM
CORPORATION (NNPC). I am in search of a partner to assist me in the
transfer of (US$40M) FORTY MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLAR being money
extracted from over invoiced Contract Sum. I would like you to invest the
money on our behalf in any viable sector of your country's Economy.
You will be required to do the following:
(1) Assist in the transfer of the said sum
(2) Advise on lucrative areas for investment.
You will be adequately compensated with 30% of the overall sum. If you
regard this favorably, you can send me your private phone and Fax numbers
for easier communication.
Chairman, Contract Award Committee.