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:
- "is 100% risk-free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "nigeria national petroleum corporation" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Mele Kyari." (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2020 07:15:17 -0800
Subject: Joint Venture
Hope you would know the essence of my contact with you. I sincerely promise that the deal is 100% risk-free to both sides; hence our top
powers to execute it.
My names are Mr.Mele Kyari.Group Managing Director,Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Department of Petroleum
Resources (DPR). My term of reference involves the award of contracts to multinational companies. My office is saddled with the responsibility of
contract Award, screening, categorization and privatization of projects embarked upon by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) as well as
feasibility studies for selected projects and supervising the project consultants involved.
A breakdown of the fiscal expenditure by this office as at the end of last fiscal quarter of 2019 indicates that (DPR) paid out a whooping sum of
US$2B (Two Billion United States Dollars) to successful local and foreign contractors. The (DPR) is now compelling beneficiaries to be paid for this First Quarter First Batch of the fiscal year 2020.
The crux of this letter is that the Finance/Contract Department of the (DPR) under my instruction deliberately over-invoiced the contract value
of the various contracts Awarded. In the course of disbursements, my department has been able to accumulate the sum of $31MUSD (Thirty One
Million U.S Dollars only) as the over-invoiced sum.
This money is currently in a suspense account of the (DPR) account with the Debt Reconciliation Committee (DRC). We now seek to process the
transfer of this fund officially as contract payment to you as a foreign contractor, who will be fronting for us as the beneficiary of the fund. In
this way we can facilitate these funds into your nominated foreign account for possible investment abroad. We are not allowed as a matter of
government policy to operate any foreign account to transfer this fund into.
Now my questions are: -
1. Can you handle this project?
2. Can I give you this trust?
3. What will be your commission if you can facilitate the movement of this fund into your account?
Be informed that on completion of this Project we will use part of our own share to invest in your country under your care.
Please note that the transfer operation will take ten working days to be completed.
Send the requested information below so that we can proceed further.
(1) Your Full Name:........................
(2) Your Full Contact Address:.............
(3) Your Direct Mobile Line:...............
(4) Your Private Fax No:...................
(5) Your company name if any...............
(6) Your occupation:.......................
(7) Your age:..............................
(8) Your Full Banking Details Where the funds will be transferred into.
Thanks And Remain Blessed
GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR,
(NNPC)DEPARTMENT OF PETROLEUM RESOURCES (DPR)