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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Nelson David <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Nelson David <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 06:34:05 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Please,treat with secret,confidential and utmost urgency.
>From The Desk of Â NNPC BoardContract Award Tender CommitteeMembers NNPC Annex HeadquartersFalomo. Lagos Nigeria.Tel Â Â +234 9090 012 477Email: Â Â ATTENTION: SIR/MADAMÂ I Mr Nelson David, on behalf of my other colleagues from different organs of Federal Â Government of Nigeria (FGN) owned ministries decided to solicit your assistance as regards transfer of the above-mentioned amount into your bank account.This fund accrued from over invoicing of various contract awarded in my ministryNigerian National Petroliem Co-opration (NNPC) to certain Foreign Â Contractors some years ago.
We,as holders of sensitive position in various ministries were mandated by the Federal Government of Nigeria to scrutinize all payments made to certain Â foreign Â Contractors, we then discovered that some of the contracts Â commissioned were grossly over-invoiced either by omission or commission, In the process the sum of US$38,5M (Thirty-Eight Million,Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars only)was found lying in NNPC suspense account After the foreign contractors has been paid their rightful dues for executing the said contracts.Â We all then agreed that this over-invoiced amount should be transferred(for our own use) into a bank account to be provided by a trustworthy foreign partner like you, because we are government workers and the Code of Conduct does not allow us to operate foreign accounts.
Thus we are seeking your unwavering assistance that the total amount of US$US$38,5M can be speedily processed and fully remitted into your nominated bank account.We have agreed that 40% of the total sum goes to you for your involvement and the expenses you will incur to see the successful end of the transaction.Â So far,much have been said and due to our sensitive positions,we cannot afford a sleep in this transaction neither can we give out identity as regards our respective offices,but whereby cordial relationship is established,smooth operations commences, you will be furnished with details of all you deserve to know.I am at your disposal to entertain any question from you with respect to this transaction, so contact me immediately through my e-mail for Â further information and procedure to execute this transaction.Â In your reply please endeavor to send me the following information.1.YOUR COMPANY NAME OR BUSINESSÂ 2.FULL NAME AND PERSONAL ADDRESS.3.YOUR PRIVATE PHONE, FAX NUMBERS.4.YOUR BANKING DETAILS
Please,treat with secret,confidential and utmost urgency.Â
Yours sincerelyMr Nelson David