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:
- "monrovia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Favour Mutah" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 15:43:10 +0100
Subject: From Master Favour Mutah please help me
>From Master Favour Mutah
Ghana in West Africa
Please i begged you in the name of God that makes you what you are i need your help. I hope that you will read through this email and understand how difficult things can be for someone in a particular period of life, I introduce my self to you with all faith, trust and hope you will understand to assist me not to betray me at the end.
My Name is Master Favour Mutah the only Son of Mr and Mrs Mutah Ubah i am 20 year old My father was a very wealthy Gold Merchant in Monrovia the Gold Capital of republic of Liberia all in west Africa.
My father was poisoned to death last two years by his brother and they accused my mother of having a hand in my fathers death because they are after my father's wealth. Before the death of my father last two years he called me and my mother and told us that the last food he ate was at his brother's house, now my father is dead the Autopsy comfirmed he was poisoned to death. my father's relations are after my mother saying she is responsible for my father's death so that they will claim all my fathers belonging which they succeeded and put my mother in prison for crime she did not commit.
Before my mother was sentence to Nine years in prison last year December she called me and told me that my father deposited the sum of (USD $15 MILLION FIFTEEN MILLION U.S DOLLARS ) in a bank in Ghana and hand me where over the documents of the money, and also told me that my father use me the son as the NEST OF KIN and put his foreign business partner as the beneficiary good a thing he did not mention any name.
She told me to come down to this country Ghana where the money was deposited and look for a foreign partner who will help me and transfer the money to his/her account so that the person will help me to come over to his/her country to continue my education, and I have gone to the bank here in Ghana and comfirmed the deposit.
My purpose of contacting you is for you to help me transfer this money to your account and also help me to come over to your country to further my education before this people who killed my father and put my mother in prison will find out and collect the documents of this money and claim it as they claimed all my fathers properties.
I'm now hiding in a local place here waiting for the transfer of the money, and I will compensate you with 20% of this money if you help me to transfer the money to your account l hope you will not betray the trust i have on you because this money is my only hope in this life and also know that my mother will come and stay with us when ever she come out of prison.
I can assure you there is No Risk involve the money is an inheritance from my late father.
I am waiting to hear from you.