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.
- 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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: WACOPPMA <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2021 17:23:59 +0100
Subject: crude oil & Petroleum
Attention: Dear Friend,
I wish to introduce you to this highly prospective crude oil sale venture,
I propose that you may become a partner the a crude oil & Petroleum
products sales project under the umbrella of the West Africa Petroleum &
Oil Marketing Agency.
In this project, we will register you as our partner and act as
representative in selling crude oil & Petroleum products to the end buyers.
In the end of period review, some of the companies could not actualize
their target in the project as a result of incapability, so their license
have been frozen and declared vacant.
We will re-assign the failed license to you, this will give you the legal
authority to act as agent/representative.
The assignment of the crude oil & Petroleum products sale and refining
license allocation to you the privilege to operate as first lifters of
crude oil & Petroleum products from the block. This attracts US$2.00
discount per barrel to the lifter on crude oil.
The US$2.00 is our
(lifter) entitlement from the local petroleum agency, also been able to get
final buyers entitles you also to a US$1.00 discount from the discount
given to the end buyer as "mandates", as you are expected to be lifting 2
million barrels per month from the block.
This totals to US$6 million gross coming to your group per transaction.
What is so interesting about the project is that whereby you do not have
immediate end buyer, such people who do not have license would be ready
buyers on the spot and you part with your due commission.
We will gladly appreciate your kind interest to be part of this venture,
get back to me urgently strictly via our official E-mail address or through
any of our contacting officers(firstname.lastname@example.org) Please send your reply
to my Private Email Address
Mr. Frank N. Belumo
W. Licensing & Procurement Department.
WAOPMA Crude Oil & Petroleum Product Marketing Agency.
Official E-mail; email@example.com