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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "30% for you " (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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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.
- 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: james obioma <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2015 23:48:07 +0100
Attention: Director, Managing Director and Chairman
Please do not mind the bad names given to Nigeria as a country by the
international communities, do not be deceived, this is a country well
blessed with riches and mineral resources, and so much cash
transactions. I got your contact from your chamber of commerce. And I
choose your country, because it is a safe place for investment.
I am a director with the Nigeria National Petroleum Co-operation NNPC
and I am from Angola but based in Nigeria, I and my colleagues in
office over inflated a contract that was to be $50M USD to $85M USD,
now we have paid the original contractor his $50M USD, and the balance
of the $35M USD is ours, but we cannot keep it here due to our
position, now we want you to serve as a sub-contractor so that we can
transfer the money to you, and then we share it 30% for you and 70% to
us, there is no risk involved as we are in charge.
If you can assist us, kindly send us your complete name, phone number
and address, bank details and the name of your company.
My alternative email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TEL: +234 7068356400