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)
- "god-fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MINISTER HEINEKEN LOKPOBIRI" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2016 11:06:05 +0100
Subject: THIS MOST URGENT FROM MINISTER HEINEKEN LOKPOBIRI
Good Day ,
Compliment of the day! I hope this mail finds you in good health.
With Regards to my contact to you, I, on behalf of my family I sincerely solicit for your support to invest 26,000,000.00$ in a profitable venture like Real Estate and Construction Company. These funds emanated from our secret sales of unauthorized crude oil to foreign firms in exchange for arms/ammunition and funds to sponsor militant groups in the Niger Delta oil region of Nigeria.
Over years, I have run these groups to empower our people/youths to protect our land that have been devastated by crude oil spillages, drilling pollution and total negligence by the government and the oil companies. My community is not violent people, we are peaceful people but could not stand the continuous destruction of our lands, waters and forest where our people could no longer farm nor fish as that is our basic source of livelihood.
This motivated my gesture till the call for amnesty by the government and an agreement was made with our concerned communities to revamp the affected areas and make compensations. Presently, vast majority of my community have keyed to the government amnesty program. Hence, I have resolved to invest the funds left behind in funding the militant groups into overseas investment after deliberation with my family. The main reason why I opted for foreign investment of these funds is to avoid any form of implication or indictment on conspiracy as I am government officials working in government ministries with a common goal before I was given a minister.
As you may wish to know, all the funds received in sales of crude oil from the buyers were paid in cash, no bank transfer was allowed to avoid any trace. The funds were deposited in safe security company in disguise as gold treasures. I, however, solicit your support to receive the funds and put them into circulation for a viable investment. Surely, you will manage the investment for me and my family because I am not a business cultured person, but you must state clearly what will be your entitlement for your support and I will make agreement with you to keep all parties faithful to one another.
I and my family are much more concerned that this transaction be kept and handled with utmost secrecy to the later. If am not assured of your capability, I may decline our cooperation that is why I need GOD-fearing and honest person that is real whom I can trust and confide in because I have a 100% solid diplomatic arrangement to move the funds in cash to your country.
The delivery will be outlined once I am in cooperation with you. I provide you my telephone line for our communication.
Minister Heineken Lokpobiri