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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: MOHAMMED ALI <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 23:45:09 -0400
FROM THE DESK OF
MR MOHAMMED ALI
INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK
KUMASI BRANCH GHANA.
My name is Mr Mohammed Ali, I am the regional manager of the International
Commercial Bank kumasi branch Ghana. I got your information during my search
through the Internet. I am 48years of age and married with 3 lovely kids. It
may interest you to hear that I am a man of PEACE and don't want
problem, but i
don't know how you will feel about this because you might feel that its scam
yes there are many scam. But am telling you that this is real and you are not
going to regret after doing this transaction with me. I only hope we
each other. But If you don't want this business offer kindly forget it as I
will not contact you again.
I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit both of us, as the
regional manager of the International Commercial Bank; it is my duty
to send in
a financial report to my head office in the capital city Accra-Ghana
at the end
of each year. On the course of the last year 2008 end of year report, I
discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made Three million seven
hundred and fifty thousand dollar [$3, 750.000.00] which my head
office are not
aware of and will never be aware of. I have since place this fund on what we
call SUSPENSE ACCOUNT without any beneficiary.
As an officer of the bank I cannot be directly connected to this
money, so this
informed my contacting you for us to work so that you can assist receive this
money into your bank account for us to SHARE. While you will have 40% of the
Note there are practically no risk involved, it will be bank to bank transfer,
all I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund
the deposit with our branch so that my Head office can order the transfer to
your designated bank account. If you accept this offer to work with me, I will
appreciate it very much.
As soon as I receive your response I will details you on how we can achieve it
successfully. I will want you to reply me through my private email address at