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:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Eng. Victor Mukoro" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2019 16:07:38 -0000
Subject: From Eng. Victor Mukoro
I am Eng. Victor Mukoro, Debt Reconciliation Committee of the office of the presidency, I have been directed by His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MUHAMMADU BUHARI), SFF, GCRF), to bring to your immediate notice and urgent attention that this new Government Following the Federal Executive Council Decision have approval the released of your long over-due Contract payment.
Be informed that all matters relating to verification, information and documentation including payment for contracts executed are now under my control and supervision. The sum of 2 Billion Dollars acquired from the on-going petroleum subsidy removal has been approved for payment of all foreign indebted contractors.
A Signal has been sent to Director Remittance Department of United Bank For Africa (UBA) for the immediate transfer of your funds and Eleven (11) other contractors within the next seventy two (72) hours. You are advised immediately to contact Mr.Frances Nweke, on his telephone number: +2349021344502 Email: ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) for the immediate transfer on your long overdue contract payment.
This office will ensure that adequate attention and priority is given to your contract file. Finally you are advised to adhere to the instruction of the Director Remittance Department of United Bank For Africa (UBA) to enable his office release your contract sum to you within the stipulated time.
Beneficiaries, who fail to comply with the above instruction, shall not be considered for payment.
Congratulation in advance
Eng. Victor Mukoro