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 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)
- "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)
- ",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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Chima Eze" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:47:32 -0700
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED !!!
Chairman Seven Man Presidential Panel
on foreign contractors
REPLY ONLY TO:
I am the chairman of Seven (7) Man Presidential Panel
on Foreign Contract Awards And Payment Recommendation.
This panel is set up and empowered by three factors;
The President Of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,
Members of G-34 and the Honourable Members of
the Judicial Panel, to review and subsequently
recommend for payments all duly executed contracts
awarded to foreign contractors between 2010 & 2013
Precisely five months back, we discovered
an over-invoiced contract sum to the tone of Two
Hundred Million United States Dollars
(USD$200,000,000.00).We further traced the origin of
this sum and thus ,found out that it was deliberately
over-invoiced by then Contract Awarding Committee
before they were dissolved.
As it is now, we are very confident that the government has
no knowledge of thissum; neither does the dissolved committee
have access to the said sum again.
We still have almost one year to conclude and it is only
then that we shall give official reports and probably refer
this over-invoiced contract sum back to the federal government treasury,
It is in the light of this that my colleagues and myself
decided to confidently contact you urgently so that we
could perfectly present you or your company as one of
the foreign contractors that executed contract for the
Nigerian government, and we shall recommend Sixty
Million United States Dollars (USD$60,000,000.00)
to be paid into your account or companys account,
thereafter we shall refer back to the governments
purse the balance of One Hundred And Forty Million
We have carefully worked out the strategies to secure all the necessary
approvals in your name and there is no room for
failure, in that we are still at the head of Contract
Review and Payment Recommendation, and it is only our
reports that count.
If we have understood ourselves and believed with
trust that we could do this together and move this sum
of Sixty Million Dollars(USD$60,000,000.00) into your
account, then forward to us urgently the following;
1. Your full names and address
2. Company's name and address, if any
3. Full bank account details and
4. Telephone and fax numbers
we shall further discuss and agree on the percentage
sharing as soon as we hear from you affirmatively.
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