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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "contract award committee" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Frank Williams" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2023 03:57:02 -0700
Subject: Hello Friend,
I am very sorry for the unsolicited email, I am Frank Williams and I am the director of the contract award committee.
After due deliberation, I have decided to forward to you this business proposal. I want a reliable person who could assist me to receive the sum of Sixty Two Million Five Hundred United States Dollars Only ($62,500,000.00) from the Finance company who the capacity to release these funds was deposited with them to you as the beneficiary, and also possible help me to invest the money on my behalf, reason I come out openly to deal with you is because I want to build an a everlasting relationship with you. I dont just want to deal with everybody or send messages without knowing who I am dealing with, and also I find you as a trustworthy person to handle the affair of this project.
This fund resulted from an over-invoiced bill from contracts awarded by my committee under the budget allocation to my Ministry and this bill has been approved for payment by the concerned Ministries years back., this contract has since been executed, commissioned and the contractor was paid the actual cost of the contract amount agreed on. I am left with the balance US$62,500,000.00 as part of the over-invoiced amount which I have deliberately over estimated for my own personal investment and establishment for the future of my children.
Furthermore please let me know if you are willing to partner with me as I will give you 30% of the total amount, which is $18,750,000.00 United States Dollars. Let me know if this is acceptable by you?
Let me know if you are willing to partner with me to enable me to send full details and some documents relating to these funds.
Inclusion I will release the details of the director of the Finance company, I will secure the legal documents that will put you in the position of the owner of these funds, and also to enable you to meet the director of the Finance company for the release of the funds to you. More details will be released to you as soon as I receive your reply.
I look forward to hearing from you.