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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. Edward Fofo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 07:01:06 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Ecowas Bank Plc.
>From Mr Edward Fofo.
Branch Manager,Credit And Foreign Bills.
Ecowas Bank Plc.
My name is Mr. Edward Fofo the Branch Manager, Credit and Foreign Bills of Ecowas Bank Plc Accra Ghana.
Am writing in respect of a foreign customer of my bank with account number 414-555-096-88777/ECO/AD Mr.John Shumejda of Agco Corp who died on the 4th of January 2002 in a plane crash in Birmingham; you can view this CNN website :http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/01/04/england.plane/
Since the demise of this our customer.I have personally watched with keen interest to see the next of kin but all has proved abortive as no one has come to claim his funds of [Ten million five hundred thousand united states dollars] which has been with my branch for a very long time.
On this note, I decided to seek for whom his name shall be used as the Next of kin as no one has come up to be the next of kin.And the bank in ethics here does not allow such money to stay more than Seven years,because the money will be re called to the bank treasury as unclaimed fund after this period. In view of this I got your contact through a search on the Internet.
The total funds has been moved to an open account which has no beneficiary.
This fund will be approved to anybody that comes with the necessary informations needed.
I will provide you with the necessary informations needed in order to claim this money if you agree to receive this fund in your account pending my arrival in your country for sharing/ investment purposes.
Every other things including sharing ratio will be discussed upon your response before we proceed.
You should include your phone number please.