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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Engr. Timothy Okpeke" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 20 May 2016 19:44:46 -0700
Subject: Crude oil sales Rep.
I have decided to use this medium to extend a prosperous business hand shake with you and welcome you in the Oil & Gas industry. Having been in this sector of the economy since 1998, I will say without mincing words that I know the terrain 100% and can guarantee our smooth operation in this highly legitimate and money spinning venture.
I just located a dormant crude oil lifting license to a company that is presently out of business. This license gives the owner the mandate to lift and market a total of 60 million barrels of the crude oil for a total period of 5 years thus a sales capacity of 1 million barrels monthly. As the license remains valid for another 3 years, I will use my network as a staff of this petroleum agency to reassign this license to your names or your company name if you have one to enable us share the proceeds 50%-50% basis. .
As a license operator with this National Oil Company, you are entitled to a host commission of $3 per each barrel sold. Since the license has a capacity of One Million barrels for a month, Going by the commission of $3 per barrel, You will be receiving a total amount of Three Million United States Dollars ($3MUSD) at the end of every sales operation each month.
As a license holder, your job is to locate the end buyers of the crude oil and facilitate a buy/sales transaction of the crude oil between the National Oil Company being the seller and the buyers. My job status as a staff of the Company will not allow me to personal own the license so I will, take up the responsibility of locating the buyers and being on the ground to facilitate the sales operations. You will play the role of the license owner and the beneficiary to the sales proceeds which will be shared between us at 50:50 thereafter.
I will need your comments and queries to explain further and also advise us on the process of reacquiring the license to you as the new operator and the mode of operation of this project.
Awaiting your response.