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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "my direct telephone number" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "nigeria national petroleum corporation" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
Fraud email example:
From: NIGERIA NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPERATION <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:51:15 +0100
Subject: Attn: Hello Sir: ( Lets Have An Understanding For Investment )
I am Dr. Timipre Sylva , The Minister of States on Petroleum And
Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC
I am in charge of contract payments in Nigeria National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC). My official
responsibility relates to contract review and payments.
Fortunately, I'm privileged to know about pending contract
payments unclaimed over the years. Such pending payments are subject to
further review and re-assignment, as the need
If I have a reliable group or company or person for such a re-assignment
exercise, we can proceed with the
necessary machinery that can warrant payment to this new reliable party/
beneficiary. We need your understanding,
interest and cooperation to realize this objective.
This reassignment will entail you making available to me the
1, Your company name, office and home address.
2, Your confidential phone line.
3, Your bank details, where you enjoy the confidentiality of your bankers.
Please be informed that we have pending unclaimed contract sums, ranging
from US$10 Million to over $100 Million
Please inform me in honesty the amount or volume of cash that your given
account can absorb without any query or
Looking forward to your sincere and urgent reply through my personal email,
or call my direct telephone number below
Dr. Timipre Sylva
Minister of States for Petroleum and
Group Managing Director, NNPC