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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. Edward Campbell" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2011 19:50:53 -0700
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL PLEASE
The Regional Manager,
Barclays Bank of Ghana,
I wish to contact you on a good business which I want you to assist me, receive this fund into your bank account in your country and I believing that this will really work out between both of us.
I am the manager of Barclays Bank of Ghana Ltd in Tema branch, a family man and a man of peace. I discovered this money Five million, Five hundred and Forty thousand united state dollars (USD$5,540.000.00) On the course of the last year 2010 business financial report.I have packaged this transaction in a way that it will be of mutual benefit to us. As the regional manager (Tema branch) it is my duty to send in a financial report to my head office in the capital city Accra at the end of each business year and I have placed this funds on what we call Escrow Call Account with no beneficiary.
As an officer of this bank I cannot be directly connected to this money, so my aim of contacting you is to assist me receive this money in your bank account and get 35% of the total funds as commission.This business will be a bank-to-bank transfer.All I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of these funds who made the deposit in my branch so that my head office will order the transfer to your designated bank account.
If you accept to work with me on trust I will appreciate it very so much. Email me with the above email address so that we can go over the details. Thanks for your co-operation and I wait to hear from you soon.