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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united state 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)
- "million us 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)
- "million 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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "abuja" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Stephen Kwame" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2019 14:55:43 +0200
Subject: REQUEST FOR BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP OF MUTUAL BENEFIT
From the Desk of: Mr. Stephen Kwame
Director of Procurement and Contract Award
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
NNPC Towers Central Business District Garki, Abuja -Nigeria
REQUEST FOR BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP OF MUTUAL BENEFIT
Hello, I am Mr. Stephen Kwame, the Director of Procurement and Contract Award at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I apologize using this medium to reach you for a transaction/ business of this magnitude, but this is due to confidentiality and prompt access reposed on this medium.
It is with trust that I wish to contact you on this matter concerning the transfer of US$52 Million Dollars. Sometime ago, a contract was awarded by my Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to an International Oil Firm, to Service, Turn Around Maintenance and Rehabilitation Work on Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) Plant in Nigeria. This contract was over-invoiced by us (myself and a junior colleague) to the tune of (US$52 Million United State Dollars). The original contract sum was for $1,350,565,000 USD (One Billion, Three Hundred and Fifty Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Five Thousand United States Dollars).
Though the actual contract cost have been paid to the original contractor, leaving the balance in the tune of $52,000,000.00 (Fifty Two Million US Dollars) still floating in the Bank and we cannot claim this amount because of our position here hence I decided to contact you to present you as a contractor who executed a contract in my Ministry and should be paid the over-invoiced amount. It is based on this that I have decided to establish a cordial business relationship with you, hence my contacting you.
I want to present you as the Beneficiary to this fund, so that the funds can be approved to you or your company and be paid out you as a contract sum for contract executed under my Ministry. We have all modalities put in place for a successful transfer of funds to your account. We have been disappointed some years ago by a British, Mr. Rick Williams whom we trusted with a transaction of this nature up to the tune of US$31Million U.S. Dollars. He is sitting on our money for no apparent reason and refused to give us our share but we believe that for his act of wickedness to us, he will never go unpunished by God. Mr. Rick Williams still resides in London and enjoying our collective money.
Because of this we are afraid and we need your total trust and assurance that you must be an honest and straight-forward person. As we are willing to try again with you believing in your good cooperation and faithfulness.
We have agreed to share the money thus:
1. 35% for the account owner (you).
2. 65% for me and my partner
Please, note that this transaction is 100% safe and risk free and we will commence the transaction from the date of receipt of the following information from you
1. Your full name
2. Your direct/personal telephone number.
3. Your complete address (Home or office)
4. Your Occupation and Position
With this information, we are going to put in application for the approval of this fund (US$52M) into your name/company name as a contractor that executed a contract here. Due to our sensitive position, we cannot afford a slip in this transaction so contact me immediately through my e-email address for further information on the requirements and procedure for this transaction. It will only take less than seven working days to conclude this business because once you send your full name and address with your direct phone and fax number, we shall begin the process of procuring the legal documents in your name/company name which will enable the bank release the funds to your account.
Remember that my present situation will not allow me to search for another person, so I absolutely HOLD YOU ON TRUST.
Therefore we urge you to respond immediately to enable me commence with the modalities of this transfer as we are well prepared to do this promising transaction with you and hope to continue with you in future.
Mr. Stephen Kwame
NB: please bear in mind that this is 100% legal and risk free. We shall conclude successfully and the money shall be in your bank account within seven working days of receiving the needed information from you.