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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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)
- petroleum corporation (nnpc) abuja-nigeria email: email@example.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org direct phone/fax (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Charles Abiola" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2017 04:58:13 -0700
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPONSE NENDED
Mr. Charles Abiola
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
Direct Phone/Fax no:234-9021074806
My name is Mr. Charles Abiola, a Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and I have the pleasure of requesting your assistance in partnering with us in this business proposal herein below;
The Federal Government of Nigeria intends to privatize the 4 major Refineries in Nigeria so as to make it more viable, resourceful and to eliminate undue wastage and fraud in the Petroleum Sector. This privatization is in-line with the recommendations of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a prerequisite for future financial assistance to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are heavily indebted to many companies and my committee has the mandate (task) of compiling the names of these companies and debt owed them and also recommend for payment, for all contracts that have been fully executed . With our position in the committee, which is comprised of the NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (NNPC) Senior Officials, we have successfully secured for ourselves, the sum of US$ 41,500,000 (Forty One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only) and this amount was derived from deliberate over-inflation of the actual contract val
ues owe by the Nigerian N
(1) Your Name/company name and full addresses, Telephone and Fax Number
(2) Your bank's name, Address, phone and fax number, Account name and Account Number,
also your Bank Swift Code, IBAN or ABA Numbers.
The above stated requirements will enable us apply and procure the necessary legal documentations for approvals and transfer of the payment to your account and the approvals will be procured from the involved Government offices and this process may take between 4-7 working days.
We are looking forward to doing this business with you and solicit absolute confidentiality from you in this transaction.