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)
- "is 100% risk-free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: James Thomas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: James Thomas <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2018 06:09:34 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam
I hope you would know the essence of my contact with you. I sincerelypromise that the deal is 100% risk-free to both sides; hence our toppowers to execute it.
My names are Mr.James Thomas. Director Department of PetroleumResources (DPR). My term of reference involves the award of contracts tomultinational companies. My office is saddled with the responsibility ofcontract Award, screening, categorization and privatization of projectsembarked upon by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) as well asfeasibility studies for selected projects and supervising the projectconsultants involved.
A breakdown of the fiscal expenditure by this office as at the end of lastfiscal quarter of 2017 indicates that (DPR) paid out a whooping sum ofUS$2B (Two Billion United States Dollars) to successful local and foreigncontractors. The (DPR) is now compelling beneficiaries to be paid for thisSecond Quarter First batch of the year 2018.
The crux of this letter is that the Finance/Contract Department of the(DPR) under my instruction deliberately over-invoiced the contract valueof the various contracts Awarded. In the course of disbursements, mydepartment has been able to accumulate the sum of $100MUSD (HundredMillion U.S Dollars only) as the over-invoiced sum.
This money is currently in a suspense account of the (DPR) account withthe Debt Reconciliation Committee (DRC). We now seek to process thetransfer of this fund officially as contract payment to you as a foreigncontractor, who will be fronting for us as the beneficiary of the fund. Inthis way we can facilitate these funds into your nominated foreign accountfor possible investment abroad. We are not allowed as a matter ofgovernment policy to operate any foreign account to transfer this fund into.
Now my questions are: -
1. Can you handle this project?2. Can I give you this trust?3. What will be your commission if you can facilitate the movement of thisfund into your account?
Be informed that on completion of this Project we will use part of our ownshare to invest in your country under your care.
Please note that the transfer operation will take ten working days to becompleted.
Send the requested information below to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org that we can proceed further.
(1) Your Full Name:........................(2) Your Full Contact Address:.............(3) Your Direct Mobile Line:...............(4) Your Private Fax No:...................(5) Your company name if any...............(6) Your occupation:.......................(7) Your age:..............................(8) Your Full Banking Details Where the funds will be transferred into.
Mr. James Thomas.DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF PETROLEUM RESOURCES (DPR)