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:
- "lagos" (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. Ahmad Zahari Alif"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2021 22:57:07 -0700
Subject: LET US PARTNER WITH TRUST 1371
After my search from the foreign trade office here in Lagos, I decided to contact you but I did not disclose the intention to anyone else because of the delicate nature of the project. I found your email among others and became interested to reach you and solicit for your assistance and guidelines in making a business investment and transfer of ($5.2 Million USD)to your country I'm a citizen of Libya working with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as oil expatriate in West Africa.
However, I must plead for your confidence in this transaction. I am a high placed in Department of Energy and Mineral Resources. I'm need of a silent foreign partner whose identity I can use to transfer this sum of money. But at this moment, I am constrained to issue more details about this profitable business investment until I get your response by email, please if you can take out a moment of your very busy schedule today to respond back to me for more details and include your private telephone number in your response, I will be extremely happy.
This fund accrued legitimately to us as commission from foreign contracts, through our private connections. The fund is presently waiting to be remitted from the bank to you for investment in your Country. As you know we are high placed civil servants, we are not allowed by the civil service code of conduct to own or operate bank accounts outside of our shores. On the other hand, it is not safe for us to keep the money here due to unstable political environment. I have been mandated as a matter of trust by my colleagues, to look for an overseas silent partner who could work with us to facilitate transfer of this fund for our mutual benefit since my objective is to invest the money in a foreign country, it would be appreciated if you could also help me with advises and direction on investing into profitable ventures in your country.
The transaction, although discreet, is legitimate and the money will be transferred successfully with all necessary back-up official documents showing the legitimate source/origin of fund. The transfer will be effected within a period not longer than two weeks as soon as we reach an agreement and you furnish me with a suitable response indicating your interest for the investment. I plead with you on one issue, whether you are interested or not, kindly do not expose this information to anyone else. I confirm that the transaction is legitimate and without any risk either to us or yourself.
I await your swift response.
Mr. Ahmad Zahari Alif