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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "million 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)
- ",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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Christopher James" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2018 01:10:49 -0800
Subject: NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (N.N.P.C.).
PETROLEUM CORPORATION (N.N.P.C.).
I Am Dr Christopher James, an Accountant with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (N.N.P.C.). I Headed A Seven-Man Tenders Board In Charge Of Contract Awards And Payment Approvals. I Came To Know Of You In My Search For A Reliable And Reputable Person To Handle A Very confidential Transaction Which Involves The Transfer Of A Huge Sum Of Money To A Foreign Account. There Were Series Of Contracts Executed By A Consortium Of Mufti-Nationals In The Oil Industry In Favour Of N.N.P.C. The Original Value Of This Contracts Were Deliberately Over-Invoiced To The Sum Of USD$17,000,000.00 (Seventeen Million United States Dollars)this Amount Has Been Approved And Is Now Ready To Be Transferred, Being That The Companies That Actually Executed These Contracts Have Been Fully Paid And The Projects Officially Commissioned. Consequently, My Colleagues And I Are Willing To Transfer The Total Amount To Your Account For Subsequent Disbursement, Since We, Civil Servants Are Prohibited By
The Code Of Conduct Bureau (Civi
In Return, We Have Agreed To Offer You 25% Of The Transferred Sum, While 10% Shall Be Set Aside For Incidental Expenses (Internal And External) Between Parties In The Course Of The Transaction. You Will Be Mandated To Remit The Balance To Other Accounts In Due Course. Modalities Have Been Worked Out At The Highest Level Of The Ministry Of Finance And The Federal Reserve Bank (F.R.B.) For The Immediate Transfer Of The Funds Within 14 Working Days Subject To Your Satisfaction Of The Above Stated Terms. Our Assurance Is That Your Role Is Risk Free. To Accord This Transaction the Legality It Deserves And For Mutual Security Of The Funds The Whole Approval Procedures Will Be Officially And Legally Processed With Your Name Or The Name Of Any Company You May Nominate As The Benefice Beneficiary. Once More, I Want You To Understand That Having Put In Over Ten Years In The Civil Service of My Country, I Am Averse To Having My Image And Career Dented. This Matter Should Therefore Be Tr
eated With The Utmost Secrecy And
I hope to hear from you urgently
Dr Christopher James