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:
- ",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: "OLISA METUH" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "OLISA METUH" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2016 02:17:56 -0700
Subject: very urgent
With due respect to you, I crave your indulgence for the voluntary nature of this letter, it was borne out of nervousness and current development on ground.
My name is OLISA METUH, National Publicity Secretary of the People's Democratic Party; I seek your consent to help me receive the sum of US$9,000,000.00
This money was generated from over invoice in excess crude oil sold last year by Past President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( President G E J). Unfortunately I cannot move the money out from my vault to any bank in Nigeria, as my movements are monitored.
I therefore decided to contact you to help me provide an account where this fund can be transferred into. We shall both share the funds at ratio of 75% for me and 25% to you.
Please provide me with below information for further actions:
1. Name: .........
2. Address: ......
3. Tel: ..........
4. Copy of Id: ....
Mr. Olisa Metuh
The National Publicity Secretary
People's Democratic Party