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.
- 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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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:
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:11:02 -0500
Subject: FROM: SHUJI KITAGAWA
My name is Mr. Shuji Kitagawa from Japan, I am a crude oil exploration community alternative dispute resolution consultant for Exxon Mobil in Middle East and Africa, I was transferred six months ago to an African country called Nigeria in West Africa to negotiate with communities on behalf of Exxon Mobil where Exxon Mobil is about to start drilling crude oil.
When I first arrived here I was approached by a man who is a government power broker in Nigeria through one of his sons working as a staff petrochemical engineer with Exxon Mobil locally here, I was offered a deal to move out $120,000,000.00 to an oversea country on their behalf for safe keeping with agreement that I will take 35% of the money after safely transferring it away for safety.
I was able to receive the money in my account here in Nigeria which was arranged by the same people but in my name, so the whole money was moved into it and then I went to the bank and instructed the bank to move all the funds to my account in Japan, the bank made the transfer successfully, but I was unaware of the monetary policies in Japan regarding such big amount of money in personal accounts, the government of my country then wanted to tax it by 50% or return it back to where it came from, this was where I had challenges because the owners of the money refused to accept such conditions, and as such the money was sent back to Nigeria where it originally came from.
I am stuck right now because the funds will be seized if I do not find a way to get it out of Nigeria, this is why I am contacting you to assist me, I do not want to get into any troubles here please, the funds are in my account which was arranged in a bank here, and I need someone from another country who can handle such huge money to come forward and work with me, I will share my 35% with you and then the rest will be further transferred to any place that will be directed by the owners of the funds whom I suspect got the whole funds from oil deals.
Please let me know if you can help me move the funds to your country, I got your contact details from the internet.
The transfer is risk free on both sides, If you find this proposal acceptable, we shall require the following informations from you:
YOUR PRIVATE MOBILE NO.............................
YOUR PRIVATE FAX NO................................
A COPY OF YOUR NATIONAL PASSPORT FOR IDENTIFICATION.
I guarantee that this transaction will be completed within 10 working days as soon as you accept this proposal, and in support of my proposal I will send to you evidences to prove that my offer is genuine, and with good intention for mutual benefit between the two parties if my proposal to you is accepted.
Mr. Shuji Kitagwa