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)
- "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)
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "nigeria national petroleum corporation" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (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: "Dr. MID" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2022 14:50:38 +0100
Subject: Want To Have Discussions With You!
Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation
NNPC Towers, Central Business District,
Herbert Macaulay Way,
Pmb 190, Garki Abuja
I don't really know how to express my feelings for your kindness. But I want you to go through this my business proposition to you for a better explanation. You may find my mail big, bear with me and read it. I shall be expecting your negative or positive response as soon as possible.
My name is Dr. Mahmoud Isa Dutse, I am the former Finance Minister Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation NNPC. I had made several searches on whom to trust regarding this "Deal" but could not find it until I got your contact information and found you capable enough to handle a transaction of this kind and its confidentiality.
After a Third Quarter Internal Audit carried on all records and accounts of awarded and executed contracts since inception of democracy in the third republic, a huge sum of Five Hundred Million Dollars ($500,000,000 .00) were declared missing, but rather floating in a suspense account with a bank which will be made known to you should you give me your audience. I wish to request for your permission to use your personal information to raise a payment voucher in the tune of the aforementioned amount as a contractual entitlement. To mean you executed a contract with the Federal Government of Nigeria - Ministry of Petroleum Resources precisely from where the transfer Bank claims will be procured.
This sum Five Hundred Million United States Dollars have been approved for payment by this Ministry, and Endorsed by the Accountant General of the Federation and to make payment by the fund deposit bank under contract Number: NNPC/FGN/FMF/CB/C987/13.
As a top Civil Service, I am not authorized to operate a Foreign Bank account hence my decision to use your account on full trust to transfer these funds. I have resolved to give you 20% of the total sum for your assistance. But if you so wish we go into a business relationship, it is okay. I will agree to transfer these funds into your account which you have to provide, and regularize the approvals to reflect you as the beneficiary.
On receipt of your response I will open up communication between you and the Fund deposit Bank. The bank will now tell what it will require of us to get these funds transferred to your bank account which you have to provide. Please give this email the adequate audience and confidentiality it requires after going thoroughly through it till the fund transfer procession is done successfully.
Waiting for your prompt reply.
Dr. Mahmoud Isa Dutse
(Finance Minister Nnpc)