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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 01:53:48 +0200
Subject: classified information
>From The Desk Of Mr. James williams
African Development Bank Accra,Ghana.
I anticipate that you read this mail quickly and let me know your opinion or willingness on this classified information that I will release to you.Firstly, I am a happily married man with 2 kids and therefore I would not want to jeopardize this opportunity to change my financial status that will give my family a secured future.
I am Mr. James williams, Branch Manager with the African Development Bank in Accra Ghana. I got your information during my search through the Internet. I am 48 years of age and married with 2 lovely kids. It may interest you to hear that I am a man of PEACE and don't want problem, but I don't know how you will feel about this, but I am telling you that this is real and you are not going to regret after doing this transaction with me. I only hope we can assist each other. But If you don't want this business offer kindly forget it as I will not contact you again.
I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit both of us, as a Branch Manager with the African Development Bank in Accra Ghana; It is my duty to send in a financial report to my head office in the capital city Accra-Ghana at the end of each year. On the course of the last years 2010 end of year report, I discovered that my branch made Ten Million Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollar [$10,850.000.00] which my head office are not aware of and will never be aware of, Nor must they know that I am involved in this transaction.
I have since place this fund on what we call SUSPENSE ACCOUNT without any beneficiary. As an officer of the bank I can not be directly connected to this money, so this informed my contacting you for us to work so that you can assist receive this money into your bank account for us to SHARE, while you will have 30% of the total fund. Note there are practically no risk involved, it will be bank to bank transfer, all I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of this fund who made the deposit with our branch so that my Head office can order the transfer to your designated bank account. If you accept this offer to work with me, I will appreciate it very much. As soon as I receive your kind response, I will give you details on how we can achieve it successfully.
Mr. James williams.