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:
- "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)
- "i got your address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: boateng essien <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 09:26:32 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: I Need Your Assistance Urgently
I am Mr Boateng Essien, the branch manager of the International Commercial Bank, Kaneshie First Light Branch Accra Ghana. I got your address from the Internet through the consultancy directory during my search for a reliable and honest person to transact business with.
Pardon me for not having the pleasure of knowing your mindset before making this offer, but it is utterly confidential and genuine by virtue of its nature.
I write to solicit your assistance in a funds transfer deal involving US$2,300,000.00.
This fund has been stashed out of the excess profit made last year by my branch office of the International Commercial Bank of Ghana which I am the manager.
I have already submitted an approved end-of-the-year accounting report for the year 2009 to my head office here in Accra-Ghana and they never knew of this excess.
I have since then, placed this amount on a Non-Investment Account without a beneficiary. Upon your response,I will configure your name on our database as holder of the Non-Investment Account.
I will then guide you on how to apply to my head office for the Account Closure/ bank-to-bank remittance of the funds to your designated bank account. If you agree with this proposal,
I intend for you to retain 30% of the funds for your assistance,while you shall keep 70% for me. Your earliest response would be appreciated on the regards.
Looking forward to hear from you soon.
Mr. Boateng Essien,