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:
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: COMMITTEE FOR PRIVATIZATION OF REFINERIES
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2013 08:37:51 +0530
Subject: LIMITED OFFER!!
Request For Urgent Business Relationship
We have the pleasure to make this surprising but mutually benefiting business proposal. I am a member of the newly inaugurated committee for the privatization of the refineries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, in Nigeria. The members of the committee are interested in the importation of goods into the country with funds presently floating. In the HILCREST FINANCE PLC USA / Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) foreign payments account I got your address through the office of the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The federal government of Nigeria, Intends to lease the three existing petroleum refineries to private individuals and companies. This is to make the refineries more viable, resourceful and to eliminate undue wastage and fraud. This privatization is in-line with the recommendations of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a prerequisite for future financial assistance.
The refineries are heavily indebted to many companies and my committee has the mandate (task) of compiling the names of these companies and debt owed ??them and also recommend for payment, all contracts that have been fully executed. With our position in the committee, Which Comprises of my ministry, federal ministry of petroleum resources, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and the HILCREST FINANCE PLC USA, we have successfully secured for ourselves, the sum of U.S. $ 270,000,000 (Two hundred and seventy million United States Dollars).
This sum was acquired by carefully inflating the amount of indebtedness by this amount (U.S. $ 270 million). We need a reliable company to be included in the list of companies to be paid. This company will be paid for a contract executed in Kaduna Refinery in 1993. I was Therefore mandated in trust by members of the committee, to seek a foreign partner into Whose account we could transfer the sum of U.S. $ 270 million, hence I am writing you this letter. We have agreed to share the funds thus:
1) 50% for us (the committee members)
2) 40% for you (the account owner)
3) 10% will be used in settling taxation and all local and foreign expenses that will be incurred in the course of this transaction.
It is from our 50% that we wish to commence the importation business. We also need assurance from you that you will let us have our share once the inflated amount (U.S. $ 270,000,000.00) is Transferred into your account. The payment will be done by the HILCREST FINANCE PLC USA through its correspondent bank What we need from you, is a vital account into Which the funds will be Transferred / lodged.
Note that this transaction is 100% safe and guaranteed since the law under Which our committee was set up, has empowered us to disburse all the funds. We shall commence the transfer of the funds immediately we receive the following information by email or fax.
1) Your company name and full address
2) Your Bank's name, telephone and fax number
3) Your account number and name
Kindly send the Necessary information to be transmitted to;
Email address; email@example.com
The above information will enable us put up letters of claim and job description to the respective ministries for the issuance of the mandatory fund release approval / recommendations. This way, your company will be recognized and accepted as the beneficiary of the contract entitlements before the final remittance to your nominated account, by the HILCREST FINANCE USA, being paying bank note that we will be responsible for the payment of the federal domestic revenue tax on behalf of your company and a contract agreement between your company and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation shall be drawn up and dated showing that your company has a legitimate contract with the NNPC and must be paid.
We are looking forward to doing this business with you and solicit absolute confidentiality from you in this transaction. Please acknowledge receipt of this letter, using the above email for more details regarding this transaction. So endeavor to send the requested information.
Senator David Mark
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.