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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Udoma Udo Udoma <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2016 14:19:39 -0700
Subject: PRIVATE INFORMATION
Good Day to you,
This letter should have reached you by post because of its highly confidential nature but in these days of internet speed and issues, this seems to be the most, take-a-chance, direct means of contact. I crave your discreet indulgence herein should you be inclined towards this brief.
I am one of the members of the Special Committee for Budget and Planning at the Ministry of Petroleum. This committee is principally for Federal Government contract appraisals and approval in order of priorities as regards capital projects in Nigeria.
With my position, I have successfully secured the sum of Twenty Seven million, Five hundred thousand dollars (US$27.5M). This amount was accumulated from assumed mark-up on any disbursed invoice, for example NOSDRA (National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency) account for 2015 is USD 349,978,185,874.21 and NIMASA (Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency) 2014 spill-over account is USD580, 986,085,732.98. Hence after $350 billion is drawn and exhausted, the mumbo-jumbo of how 978,185,874.21 checks out is my business. Together with some of top officials of The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Federal Ministry of Finance, we found that these withdrawals were previously not accounted for nor were these excesses ever balanced since inception of crude oil accountancy in the NNPC/Federal Ministry of Finance in Nigeria.
I plan to transfer this amount accumulated overtime, into an overseas account via our Federal Ministry of Finance, by awarding you an already existent and paid off contract from my ministry (NNPC). To this effect, I decided to contact you and ask for your assistance. What I need from you is to provide an existing account and your vital identification to stand as this contract executor.
We have concluded to compensate the owner of the account for this transaction with 45% of the total amount remitted. We shall keep 50% and remaining 5% reserved for taxes. Finally, the confidence and trust reposed on you cannot be over emphasized judging from the caliber of personnel involved.
Please consider within yourself to come in with us or not, with the unequivocal promise not to jeopardize each other in any way. I represent my senior colleagues without fear, having taken meticulous time to perfect the sequence of government protocol and transfer. This contact to you is hereby left to fate that we pray to encounter a reasonable business-minded individual. Do kindly contact me urgently for our easier communication.
Udoma Udo Udoma