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)
- "huge amount 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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:
From: "Alfred Tango" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2019 10:05:14 -0800
Subject: Re: Fund Managers Urgently wanted:
My name is Mr Alfred Tam Atango, Director of Legal Services, Niger Delta Development Commission.
I am writing this letter to you to present a business proposal, which is going to be mutually
beneficial for us. A gist of the proposal is provided below with evidence.
Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the
Niger Delta Development Commission, from 2001 to 2019 following persistent criticisms of the operations
of the commission. The President frowned that what is presently on ground in the Niger Delta region
did not justify the huge amount of money that had been made available to the agency. For this reason
a three man committee was appointed by Mr President to oversee the audit and report back to him. The
audit has been completed and the necessary report has been handed down to the president.
During our audit, we discovered an accumulated amount of $750, 000.000.00 ( Seven Hundred & Fifty Million
United States dollars), which has been reported to the President. As you are probably aware, there is
an extensive oil contamination of rivers, creeks, and ground waters in Ogoniland in the Niger Delta region.
Oil contamination originating from anthropogenic activities such as drilling operations and transportations
is a well known and well-studied environmental pollution problem. The levels of contamination is
colossal and has caused severe damage on the ecosystem and human health.
In light of the above apologia, the President has ordered the three man committee headed by my boss Dr Gbene
Joi Nunieh, Acting Managing Director of the commission to plough the accumulated funds into the importation
of cleaning agents and chemicals to facilitate the cleaning of Ogoniland beginning from the second quarter
of the year 2020. Because this amount is lying fallow in our audit account, my boss has asked me to source
for a reliable foreign partner into whose account we can send this amount in phases so that it can be used
to make some profitable investments that will be provided by you with good returns before it will be ploughed
into the purchase of chemicals from July of 2020.
This transaction is 100% risk free, the money is unencumbered and very much available for disbursement. We
only want to use it to make some good returns before it will be used to import chemicals in July 2020. Please
let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to clear your doubt. I can be reached on telephone
number 234-80582 35180 at any time.
We hope to have a mutually beneficial business relationship with you and your esteemed organization, as we
look forward to a positive response from your end. Please visit the sites below for further clarifications.
https://punchng.com/buhari-orders-forensic-audit-of-nddc-from-2001-to-2019/ Audit order.
https://hyprep.gov.ng/ Ongoing cleaning project.
Mr Alfred Tam Atango
Director of Legal Services,
Niger Delta Development Commission