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:
- "million dollars" (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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Kojo William Wood" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 06:20:05 -0400
Subject: BUSINESS OFFER (You do not need to invest your personal funds)
I am Mr Kojo.W. Wood , i am 52 years old and i work with a reputable bank in GHANA west Africa called GHANA COMMERCIAL BANK .I have been with the bank for 20 years and i am in search of a honest partner to do business with in the USA only , as i do have access of dormant account and i am handling over 300 personal account with huge funds inside , some of this people are dead and do not have next of kin, i am willing to do business with you base on a good percentage to transfer the funds into your checking,current or saving account in the USA with out any trace.
But as you know to every business there are process and protocol that need to be meant that is why i have partner with a Financier in the state that will assist us with any funds we need, i will be open to you my friend there are documents that we need to submit to the bank as you being the next of kin and the bank does not need to know i am with you but i will be your eye in the bank , as for the funds we need, the Financier in the states is willing to assist us as much funds we need but only to a CREDIT CARD, so depending on how much your limit is on your credit card will depend on how much money can be transfer from GHANA COMMERCIAL BANK to your personal account in the states within 1 week, the total funds in my possession is over 140million Dollars.
Like i said you do not need to spend your money all you need is to have a credit card available and your trust and when you get back to me on how much your credit limit then I will let you know how much can be transferred into your account and how much % will be yours but be rest assured my friend your % will be more than 30% of the funds which will be transferred into your account, also even if you owe on your credit card or have a balance, the financier will clear all your outstanding Credit you owe and make out available credit for you , this is a one in a life time opportunity make good use of it.
Kindly send your response in this regard by stating the below information:
1) Limit on your Credit Card.
2) Full Names
3) Tel. & Cell Number for easy communication.
SEND YOUR RESPONSE TO MY PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
Thanks for your co-operation
Mr. Kojo William Wood
GHANA COMMERCIAL BANK