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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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: =?Windows-1252?Q?All_Rights_Reserved_2020_=A9?= <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2021 21:23:02 +0000
Subject: THANK YOU
Greetings to you. If you receive this message in your spam/bulk folder, its because of the restrictions imposed by your mail/internet service provider and I urge you to treat this message genuine and 100% risk free.
I got your contact details from the United Kingdom Exchange Information Online Service on my personal search on the internet for a reputable company/individual abroad to assist me confidentially which your information profiles were very satisfactory and I decided to contact you immediately. My name is Mr. Beneker Williams, It is a pleasure to write you this letter. Within the energy development limited London United Kingdom. Where I work as a Director of Audit and Project Implementation, I have in my possession an overdue payment fund in Great British Pounds sterling. The said funds represent a certain percentage of the total contract value already executed on behalf of my department by a foreign contracting firm which I the official, over-invoiced to the amount of Three Million Great British Pounds Sterling (£3, 000,000.00).
Though, the actual contract cost has been paid to the original contractor, and leaving the excess balance unclaimed since the present elected Government is determined to pay all foreign contractors debts owed, as to maintain good relationships with foreign governments and non-government agencies, we included our bills for approvals with the Department of Finance. I am now seeking your assistance to front as a beneficiary of the unclaimed funds since I am not allowed to operate foreign bank accounts, and cannot deposit the said funds into my local bank account here in the country. Details and change of beneficiary information upon application for claim to reflect payment and approvals will be secured on behalf of you/your Company. I propose that should you assist me in this transaction your share as compensation will be 35% and the balance of 65% will be for me and colleagues.
This transaction is completely safe and secure, provided that you treat it with the utmost confidentiality. And note it does not matter whether you/your company does contract projects, a transfer of powers will be secured in favor of you/your Company. Your area of specialization is not a hindrance to the successful execution of this transaction. I have reposed my confidence in you and hope that you will not disappoint me.
Thanks for your cooperation and your urgent response is expected: email@example.com
Mr. Beneker Williams