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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Mon, 10 May 2010 21:28:06 +1000
Subject: Business Proposal of USD$17,540,000.00
I am Mr. Andrew Mensah, the Director of Payment in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ghana. My office monitors and
controls the affairs of all banks and Financial institutions in Ghana concerned with foreign contract payments. I am
the final signatory to any transfer or remittance of huge funds moving within banks both on the local and
international levels in line to foreign contracts settlement.
I have before me list of funds, which could not be transferred to some nominated accounts as these accounts have
been identified either as ghost accounts, unclaimed deposits and over-invoiced sum etc. I can now include your name
among the people expecting the funds to be transferred into their account, on this note; I wish to have a deal with
you as regards to this unpaid funds. I have all the files before me and hope to fix your data correctly once i hear
from you as one of the beneficiaries.
As it is my duty to recommend the transfer of these surplus funds to the Government Treasury and Reserve Accounts as
unclaimed deposits, I have the opportunity to write you based on this instructions,
I received two days ago from the parliamentary Committee on Contract Payments/Foreign Debts to submit the List of
payment reports/expenditures and audited reports of revenues. Among several others, I have decided to remit your
contract sum following my idea that we have a deal/agreement and I am going to do this legally.
My conditions are as follows: 1. The sum of USD$17,540,000.00 only will be transferred to you. After you have
confirmed the transfer of the total sum into your account by telegraphic Transfer (T/T),in 3 Working days. I will
fly to your country to meet with you for the sharing. The sharing will go like this: 35% for you and 65% for me as I
intend to take care of the fees and charges to complete the transaction here in Ghana. If you are comfortable with
this, you can get back to me with your details.
2. This deal must be kept personal, and all correspondence will be strictly by email and telephone, for security
purposes. You must assure me of your 100% commitment and attention to enable us conclude this transaction in a
couple of days. 3. There should be no third parties as most problems associated with such transactions or businesses
are caused by agents or representatives. If you AGREE with my conditions, l will advise you on what to do
immediately and the transfer will commence without delay as I will proceed to fix your name on the Payment schedule
instantly to meet the three days mandate.
Kindly get back to me through my private email: firstname.lastname@example.org