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:
- "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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2018 17:39:18 -0800
AFTER SERIOUS THOUGHT, I DECIDED TO REACH YOU DIRECTLY AND PERSONALLY BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING AGAINST YOU BUT YOUR PARTNERS.
I AM THE DIRECTOR OF THE COMPUTER/TELEX DEPARTMENT OF THE CENTRAL BANK. SOMETIME IN THE PAST YOUR PARTNERS APPROACHED ME THROUGH A FRIEND OF MINE WHO WORKS WITH ONE OF THE FERERAL PARASTATALS HERE IN NIGERIA AND REQUESTED THAT I ASSIST THEM CONCLUDE A MONEY TRANSFER DEAL. THEY GAVE ME YOUR NAME, YOUR COMPANY'S NAME AND BANK ACCOUNT PARTICULARS AND TOLD ME TO PUT THEM IN THE COMPUTER SYSTEM IN THE LAB SO THAT IT WILL APPEAR AS IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE GENIUNE CONTRACTORS CLEARED FOR PAYMENT.
ACCORDING TO THEM, THEY WANTED TO USE THIS STRATEGY TO TRANSFER A HUGE AMOUNT OF U.S. DOLLARS WHICH THEY ACCUMULATED THROUGH INFLATED CONTRACT AWARDS AND THE MONEY HAS BEEN FLOATING IN THE CBN SINCE THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTORS HAVE BEEN PAID OFF, SO THEY WANTED TO USE YOUR ACCOUNT FOR TRANSFER.
WE AGREED THAT ONCE I DO THIS, THEY WOULD GIVE ME US$100,000.00 AND GIVE ME ANOTHER US$100,000.00 WHEN I RELEASE THE FUNDS TO YOUR ACCOUNT. WHEN THEY SAW THAT I HAVE DONE WHAT THEY REQUESTED AND YOUR NAME HAD BEEN APPROVED AMONG THE LIST OF THOSE TO BE PAID, INSTEAD OF GIVING ME THE AGREED DEPOSIT OF US$100,000.00 THEY STARTED AVOIDING ME AND RESORTED TO THREATS. I IMMEDIATELY DELETED THE TRANSFER CODE OF THE FUNDS, WHICH IS ONLY KNOWN TO ME BECAUSE OF MY POSITION AND RELEASED OTHER CONTRACTORS FUND WITHOUT YOURS.
THEY BECAME ANGRY THE MORE WHEN THEY REALISED THAT THEIR THREAT DID NOT WORK, AND STARTED BRIBING OTHER OFFICIALS TO GET ANOTHER APPROVAL TO TRANSFER THE MONEY TO YOU WITHOUT SUCCESS. APPROVALS ARE FREE. I AM 100% RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DELAY AND OBSTRUCTION BECAUSE OF THEIR BREACH OF AGREEMENT. IF YOU DOUBT WHAT I HAVE JUST TOLD YOU, PAY ANY AMOUNT THAT THEY WILL ASK YOU TO PAY NOW AND AFTER A SHORT WHILE THEY WILL COME UP WITH ANOTHER REASON FOR YOU TO PAY AGAIN AND IT GOES ON AND ON.
IF YOU WANT US TO WORK TOGETHER, THESE ARE MY CONDITIONS:
1. I WILL HAVE 30% OF THE MONEY BECAUSE IT IS ONLY TWO OF US LEFT FOR NOW
2. YOU WILL BEAR THE FULL COST OF THE TRANSFER
3. AS YOU CAN SEE, IT WILL BE USELESS AND A MERE WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY IF YOU CONTINUE WITH ANY OTHER PERSON, SO WE WILL CONCLUDE THIS TRANSACTION TOGETHER AND WITH UTMOST SECRECY.
IF THESE CONDITIONS ARE SUITABLE AND ACCEPTABLE TO YOU, CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY TO LET US FINALIZE SO THAT I WILL FAX YOU OUR OFFICIAL KTT WIRE TRANSFER FORM TO COMPLETE AND I WILL RELEASE THE MONEY TO YOUR ACCOUNT.
BUT IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED, I ADVICE YOU TO FORGET THE FUNDS AS IT WILL BE RETURNED TO OUR CONSOLIDATED NATIONAL RESERVE.
FINALLY, YOU WILL HAVE TO ACCEPT TO KEEP THIS TRANSACTION STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL, IF YOU ACCEPT MY SUBMISSION, KINDLY GET BACK TO ME IMMEDIATELY ON MY ABOVE PRIVATE TEL: +2348104651985
YOU CAN REACH ME ON MY PRIVATE TELEPHONE NUMBER 24 HOURS OF THE DAY.
CONFIRM YOUR PARTICULARS ON REPLY.