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:
- ",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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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: "Engineer Phillip Chukwu" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2016 04:00:56 +0800
Subject: CONTRACT OVER-INVOICE
From:Engineer Phillip Chukwu
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL & URGENT.
I am Group Executive Director Exploration and Production of the Corporation and Chairman Steering Committee of NipeX, Engineer Phillip Chukwu.
Sometime ago, a contract was awarded to a foreign firm in NipeX by my committee. This contract was over invoiced to the tune of US$25,000,0009(Twenty Five Million USD).This was done deliberately. The over-invoicing was a deal by my committee to benefit from the project. We now desire to transfer this money which is in an overseas/domicilary of NipeX to your account which we expect you to provide for us.
For providing the account where we shall remit the money, you will be entitled to 50% of the money, 50% will be for me and my partners.
I would require the following:
1) Bankers Name and Address
(2) Telephone and Fax Number of Bankers
3) Sort/ABA/Routing Number of Bankers
4) Account Number
5) Name of Beneficiary/Company Name /Address.
6) Telephone and Fax No. of Beneficiary
The above information would be used to make formal applications as a matter of procedure for the approvals and onward transfer to your account.It does not matter whether or not your company does contract projects of this nature described here, the assumption is that your company won the major contract and subcontracted it out to other companies. More often than not, big trading companies or firms of unrelated fields win major contracts and subcontract to more specialized firms for execution of such contracts. We have strong and reliable connections and contacts at the Apex Bank and Federal Ministry of Finance for the approvals to be given in your favour and we have no doubt that all this money will be released and transferred if we get the necessary foreign partner to assist us in this deal. Therefore, when the business is successfully concluded we shall through our same connections withdraw all documents used from all the concerned Government Ministries for 100% security. We are civil servants and we will n
Please contact me immediately through my personal e-mail address: email@example.com as my secretary reads my official email address and I will not want her to know about this deal. Whether or not you are interested in this deal do contact me if you are not, it will enable me scout for another foreign partner to carry out this deal. But where you are interested, send the required documents aforementioned herein without delay, as time is of the essence in this business.
I wait in anticipation of your fullest co-operation.
Engineer Phillip Chukwu