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:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr. Kwesi Bekoe <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 18:20:37 -0500
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary.
Please confirm this information. Did you ask anybody to come and claim your fund? really this men were unexpected to me because their visit was impromptu, I ask them why they came to see me in person and they said that they came to collect the inheritance/ contract funds bill sum of us$10.million which rightfully belongs to you as shown in your file with us, on your behalf and by your authorization. Note that they actually tendered some vital documents which proved that you actually sent them for the collection of these funds.
Below is list of the documents which they tendered to the bank yesterday:
1. Letter of administration.
2. High court injunction.
3. Order to release.
Due to the nature of my job, I cannot afford to make any mistake in releasing these funds to anyone except you who is the recognized true beneficiary to these funds. I have asked these men to come back so that I will confirm from you first.
Note that they are trying to pay all the charges in regards your funds and claim your funds. Please your urgent confirmation is highly needed now before your fund will be released to them in the next 48 hours, and please if you know that you never instructed them kindly get back to me immediately.
Please quote this payment codes (CODE:B.O.G/2011/0110) in all conversation or else you will not be recognized as a beneficiary/contractor with this Government and note any further message without the reference code should be disregarded to avoid any fraudulent hijack of information.
I await your urgent response.
Mr. Kwesi Bekoe Amissh-Arthur
Governor Bank of Ghana