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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "(efcc)" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (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 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: "Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2014 09:03:10 -0500
Subject: YOUR PENDING CONTRACT/INHERITANCE PAYMENT FILE/+2347080153874.$
NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION
NNPC Towers, Central Business District,
Herbert Macaulay Way,
P.M.B. 190, Garki, Abuja.
YOUR PENDING CONTRACT/INHERITANCE PAYMENT FILE
I was appointed as new management team for the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation, The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian
National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by President Goodluck Jonathan
on 27th Jun 2012.
I am the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC), Engineer Andrew Yakubu, I have pledged my
readiness to clear up all international beneficiaries payment that has
not been paid by previous administration and that of my management
team to work closely with the In-House Unions to promote a convivial
working relationship among members and staffs in the Corporation to
foster greater productivity.
I have received various reports from the Economic & Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) that different Nigerians are using NNPC and the
Central Bank of Nigeria official's name to swindle your hard earn
money from you claiming to help you.
I have personally reviewed all the contract files and decided to
contact you directly.
Please, kindly send me your payment file details to enable me confirm
that i am communicating with the rightful beneficiary.
1. YOUR CONTRACT FILE NUMBER
2. YOUR FULL NAME AND CONTACT ADDRESS
3. YOUR DIRECT CONTACT TELEPHONE
4. YOUR COMPLETE CONTRACT AMOUNT
I have addressed the members and staffs of NNPC and solicited their
support in this journey to transform the NNPC and to assure you that
some of the concerns that the unions have raised are already being
addressed by top management. The ultimate objective is for us to
succeed in this national assignment and it is a collective journey
that we must all undertake
I therefore request that your urgent reply to my office will be highly
Engineer Gary Bolar,
Group Managing Director
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)