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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Absolute Radio <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 10:33:48 +0000
Subject: Your friend james has found something that you might like...
I am Dr, James Koffa, the Chief Auditor of the Lome Ecowas Bank, . I am contacting you on this medium based on your ability.
Here is my proposal and the reason I am contacting you for, after going through some old file in the records department here in the bank, I discover that there is an account opened in 1980 belonging to the late Mr. Gideon Jerome Sylvester a foreigner and a miner at Kruger Gold Company a geologist by profession and since 1990 nobody has operated the account following Mr. Gideon death in 1990. Since then, no other person knows about this account, and the amount in this account is US$82 million (EIGHTY TWO MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS).
We should therefore try our faith by transferring US$18 million into your overseas account first, and as a foreigner because Mr. Gideon was a foreigner then later we will transfer the remaining US$64 million before joining you in person for disbursement and investment opportunity which you will be an asset to it. I am only contacting you because of your foreign status as this money cannot be approved to a local bank here, but can be approved to any foreign account because the money is in a foreign currency (US dollars) and former owner of the account, Mr. Gideon was a foreigner.
With my position now in the office and the influence of the top bank director of the Togo Reserve Bank, I will make sure that this money is transferred into any reliable account that you will provide with the assurance that this money will be intact pending my physical arrival in your country for the sharing. Your physical presence is also welcomed in Lome Togo in which the transfer can also be done in your presence.
I have the tendency to invest in your country in expectation to a sound management and a good capital returns according to your advice. Also be rest assured you stand no risk of any kind, therefore after the eventual stage of the transfer of this fund, I urge we meet in person for discussion of the investment.
I am counting on your sense of confidentiality, as it is my desire that you keep this to yourself and endeavor to furnish me with your private telephone (mobile preferably), fax numbers for a quickly arrangements and approval.
I look forward to your positive response. reply to:email@example.com.
Dr, James Koffa,
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