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)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "economic financial crime commission" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "central bank of nigeria" (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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Dr.Ken Obiorah" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2023 11:43:13 +0100
Subject: Your Attention Please........
Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Federal capital territory Office.
complex block A,area 11
P.M.B.135 Garki Abuja.Fct
It is with trust and confidence that i write to make this urgent business proposal to you. I was assigned by two of my colleague to seek for a foreign partner who will assist us in providing a convenient foreign account in any designated bank abroad for the transfer of Fifty two million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars only pending on our arrival in your country for utilization and disbursement with the owner of the account.
This amount results from a deliberate inflation of the value of a contract awarded by our ministry, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture (F.M.A)to an expatriate company.the contract has been executed and payment made to the original contractor, remaining the over-invoiced amount of Fifty two million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars only, which we want to transfer the funds out the country in our favour for disbursement among ourselves. The transfer of this money can only be possible with the help of a foreigner who will be presented as the beneficiary of the fund.
As government officials, we are not allowed to operate foreign accounts, and this is the reason why we decided to contact you. We have agreed that if you/your company can act as the beneficiary of this fund (Fifty two million seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars only)15% of the total sum will be for you for providing the account while 85% will be reserved for us.
We hereby solicit for your assistance in providing a convenient account number in a designated bank abroad where this fund would be transferred. We intend coming over there on the completion of this transfer to secure our own share of the money.
Please note that we have been careful and have made all arrangements towards the success and smooth transfer of the fund to your account before you. For security reasons and confidentiality of this transaction, we demand that you should not expose this proposal and the entire transaction to anybody.
We are putting so much trust in you with the hope that you would not betray us or sit on this money when it is finally transferred into your account. Be rest assured that this transaction is 100% risk free. If this proposal is acceptable to you,indicate your interest by sending a email to us including your bank name & address, account number,telephone number.
Note: our president Muhammadu Buhari collaborated with Ibrahim Magu as the new EFCC chairman, Economic Financial Crime Commission, Mr.Ibrahim Magu to stop the junior ranks officers from transferring funds out of the country. He sent different Cublication to many countries in the world as propaganda to discourage all government Officials from transferring funds into an overseas account to avoid and save guides the countries economy.
Apparently, so that other government officials will not benefits from these( oil windfalls venture) where he has been a culprit alone with his aides. More details about this transaction will be given to you as soon as we receive your positive respond.
Note that the particular nature of your company's business is irrelevant to this transaction. if this transaction interests you, your urgent response will be appreciated.
In addition, there are some faceless beings in my country that are making use of top government official names to swindle money from innocent citizens around the globe and that includes my name. You can confirm by searching the name of our Central Bank of Nigeria Governor in person of Godwin Emefiele; you will see that his name is part of the scam list meanwhile we are innocent officials completely unaware of the situation happening of which after utilizing their names and profile, they will have uploaded on the internet in order to ruin their reputation making the citizens believe that the officials are corrupt.
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