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:
- "i am using this medium to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "lagos" (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 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:
From: "E. M. ARINZE & CO." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 23:42:09 -0500
Subject: ASSUME OWNERSHIP.
E. M. ARINZE & CO.
12TH FLOOR, FORTUNE TOWERS 27/29,
ADEYEMO AKAKIJA STR,
ASSUME OWNERSHIP OF FUND.
I am Barr. Emeka Arinze, counsel to Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), former national security adviser. I am using this medium to request for your assistance in transferring ownership of the sum of $28.8m presently invested in Europe by my client. The fund is proceed from over inflated weapon purchase contracts awarded during my client's time as the national security adviser. My client has been in detention since 2015 with his properties and assets seized by the government.
I make this appeal with hope that you will partner with me to secure my client funds in an offshore account in Europe. The content of this mail are expressed in confidence and solely for your personal consideration. Wherein this does not meet your interest, kindly express so, so that I can seek for the interest of someone else.
Your assistance is urgently needed to secure the fund from being discovered and seized by the government. Thus far, the Nigerian government has not traced this bank and it will remain so, to the extent that you are willing to work confidentially. I am offering 20% of the total sum for your assistance, 80% will be for my client. I assure you that this transaction is risk-free. More details will be availed to you upon your reply with required information.
As a former government official already facing trial, my client cannot afford to work on this project personally, that is why I have been instructed to find a foreign partner, secure and invest the funds until his release from detention and ready to assume ownership. You are also advised to reply swiftly if this proposition is acceptable to you. Fill out the below with your details.
Mobile phone number:
I will contact you upon your reply with requested details to prepare the necessary document that will give you access to the fund. I await your reply. Please send your reply to my confidential email address email@example.com
Barr. Emeka Arinze
Disclaimer: This message transmitted with it are confidential and privileged. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender by return e-mail and delete this message from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any dissemination, copy or disclosure of this e-mail is strictly prohibited.