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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Cosmos Owusu" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 11:15:35 +0100
Subject: FROM COSMOS OWUSU URGENT REPLY.
ADDRESS: ACCRA SOUTH,
DEAR FRIEND,PERMIT ME TO INFORM YOU OF MY DESIRE OF GOING INTO
BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU. I GOT YOUR NAME AND
CONTACT FROM THE GHANAIN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND
INDUSTRY. IPRAYED OVER IT AND SELECTED YOUR NAME
AMONG OTHER NAMES DUE TO IT'S ESTEEMING NATURE AND
THE RECOMMENDATIONS GIVEN TO ME AS A REPUTABLE AND
TRUSTWORTHY PERSON I CAN DO BUSINESS WITH AND BY THEIR
RECOMMENDATIONS I MUST NOT HESITATE TO CONFIDE IN YOU
FOR THIS SIMPLE AND SINCERE BUSINESS.
I AM COSMOS OWUSU, THE ONLY CHILD OF
LATE MR &
MRS. MAKUMBA,OWUSU MY FATHER WAS A VERY WEALTHY COCOA
MERCHANT BASED IN ACCRA, THE ECONOMIC CAPITAL OF
GHANA BEFORE HE WAS POISONED TO DEATH BY HIS
BUSINESS ASSOCIATES ON ONE OF THEIR OUTING TO DISCUSS
ON A BUSINESS.WHEN MY MOTHER DIED ON THE 21ST OCTOBER 1984, MY
FATHER TOOK ME SO SPECIAL BECAUSE I AM MOTHERLESS.
BEFORE THE DEATH OF MY FATHER ON 29TH JUNE 2003 IN A
PRIVATE HOSPITAL HERE IN ACCRA. HE SECRETLY CALLED
ME ON HIS BEDSIDE AND TOLD ME THAT HE HAS A SUM OF US$
10,500,000 (Ten MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND,
UNITED STATES DOLLARS) LEFT IN A IN LOCAL BANK HERE IN ACCRA,
THAT HE USED MY NAME AS
HIS ONLY SON FOR THE NEXT OF KIN IN DEPOSIT OF THE
FUND.HE ALSO EXPLAINED TO ME THAT IT WAS BECAUSE OF
THIS WEALTH THAT HE WAS POISONED BY HIS BUSINESS
ASSOCIATES. THAT I SHOULD SEEK FOR A FOREIGN PARTNER
IN A COUNTRY OF MY CHOICE WHERE I WILL TRANSFER THIS
MONEY AND USE IT FOR INVESTMENT PURPOSE, (SUCH AS REAL
ESTATE MANAGEMENT).SIR, I AM HONOURABLY SEEKING YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THE
1)TO PROVIDE A BANK ACCOUNT WHERE THIS MONEY WOULD BE
2)TO SERVE AS THE GUARDIAN OF THIS FUND SINCE I AM STILL A
3)TO MAKE ARRANGEMENT FOR ME TO COME OVER TO YOUR
COUNTRY AFTER THE MONEY HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED.
MOREOVER, SIR, I AM WILLING TO OFFER YOU 15% OF THE
TOTAL SUM AS COMPENSATION FOR YOUR EFFORT/INPUT AFTER
THE SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER OF THIS FUND TO YOUR
NOMINATED ACCOUNT OVERSEAS.FURTHERMOIRE, YOU CAN INDICATE YOUR OPTION
ASSISTING ME AS I BELIEVE THAT THIS TRANSACTION WOULD
BE CONCLUDED WITHIN SEVEN (7) DAYS YOU SIGNIFY
INTEREST TO ASSIST ME.ANTICIPATING TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.
FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THIS BUSINESS KINDLY GIVE ME A CALL THIS NUMBER ON ( +233279452944 )
IF THIS MESSAGE IS OFFENSIVE I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE
It will be my pleasure doing business with you,
WONDERFUL LORD BE WITH YOU,