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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Exxon Mobil London." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2017 17:28:59 -0600
Subject: Operation and Corporate Affairs Officer
I am Mr. Peter Alexandra, representing the operation and corporate
affairs in contract related matters of Exxon
Mobil in London (http://www.exxonmobil.com). Exxon Mobil is one of
the World Largest oil producing and Management Company with over 1.2
Trillion pounds Capital contract Investment.
As a senior operational and corporate affairs representative of Exxon
Mobil that handle contract related matters, I successfully over
invoiced a contract few years back which is not known by anybody and,
I need your full cooperation and partnership to re-profile this
contract funds amounting to US$12.5M to your name as the contractor
that executed this contract in Asia few years.
The fund will be paid to you through a Finance Company where it is
presently deposited as soon as the filing and
documentation process is concluded in your name because the contract
was executed by Exxon Mobil United Kingdom in
Most importantly, you will be required to fill your data stated below
to enable me arrange legal documents that will proof
you as a sole contractor with EXXON MOBIL:
(1). Stand as the beneficiary / contractor with Exxon Mobil to receive
the funds as I will present you before the firm with legal documents.
(2). Receive the funds into a business/personal bank account in your country.
(3). At the completion of this transaction, the sharing rates shall be
60% for me, 40% for you.
(4) Full Names;
(5) Contact Address:
(6) Direct Telephone No:
(8) Age and Marital Status:
(9) Means of Identification:
Note: Do not contact my office number or company email for security
reasons. Get back to me as soon as possible For more details about the
Mr. Peter Alexandra
Operation and Corporate
Exxon Mobil London.
The information in this e-mail is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. Access to this e-mail by anyone else is unauthorized. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and may be unlawful.