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)
- "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)
- "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)
- "inland revenue" (Tax offices mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. Even after you pay their fake tax demands you will still not receive the non-existent funds you have been promised. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Oben Kumghan"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 02:28:45 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend,
My name is Mr. Obeng Kum with the SG-SSB Bank of Ghana as the Regional manager, Essam Branch, in the Western Region of Ghana. I got your contact during my search for a reliable, trust worthy and honest person to introduce this transfer project with me. I am a Ghanaian married with three kids. I am writing to solicit your assistance in the noble transfer of US$ 7,200,000.00.
I have packaged a transaction that will be of mutual benefit to us. As the branch manager of SG- SSB Bank of Ghana, it is my duty to send a financial report to my head office in the capital city, Accra, at the end of each financial year.
Following the release of the last year financial report, (2009), I discovered that my branch made Seven million, Two hundred thousand United States Dollars ($7,200,000.00); from the transactions accruing to the account of the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) which my head office will never be aware of because it was not detected by the audit department from the head office.
I have diverted the funds into what the bank call Escrow Call Account with no beneficiary. As the branch manager of this bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money, so my contacting you is to assist me receive the funds in your bank account in your country and get 30% of the total funds as your benefit.If you agree to assist me, I will immediately program your full information in the computer system here in Essam branch as an Escrow Call Account holder/depositor in SG-SSB Bank of Ghana.
All I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of this fund. Call or mail me if you think we can work together.
Thanks for your co-operation in advance.
Mr. Oben Kumi.