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:
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: HSBC BANK GHANA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 06:21:20 -0800 (PST)
Subject: ATTN! FUND BENEFICIARY
Trust Towers Asylum Down
2nd Floor PMB CCCI
Cantonments, Accra Ghana
ATTN! FUND BENEFICIARY, RE: SWIFT TRANSFER OF US$ 1.5 MILLION INTEREST INTO YOUR ACCOUNT. I am DR.JAMES AKWA HEAD OF TREASURY DEPARTMENT HSBC BANK GHANA, Sometime ago your overdue fund was brought to our bank from the Economic Community of west African States (Ecowas) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF), after some period the fund was taken back to the Federal Government treasury account. We wish to inform you that for the period of time this fund was in our bank it generated an accrued interest of US$1.5 Million which the world bank, international monitoring fund (I.M.F) and other monitory agency resolved the issue in London after one week meeting and decide to pay you this interest fund via our online banking system or Swift Transfer into your account. As a matter of fact we do not have enough time to waste since we have wasted time in contacting our respective customers, so try and comply with the
essential remittance requirements to ensure the swift release of these funds into your account. Heed to reconfirm your identification for example, your international passport or your drivers license, your telephone and fax number for easy communication with your designated bank details. for more information call Tel: +233-245817800, Fax: +233-021811325 Best Regards, DR.JAMES AKWA,
HEAD OF TREASURY DEPARTMENT.
HSBC BANK GHANA.