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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (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: HSBC BANK ACCRA GHANA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 13:40:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re:ATTN:FUND BENEFICIARY,
Trust Towers Asylum Down
2nd Floor PMB CCCI
RE:SWIFT TRANSFER OF US$ 1.5 MILLION INTEREST INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.
I am DR.CHRISTIAN AKWA HEAD OF TREASURY DEPARTMENT,HSBC BANK GHANA.This is the second time we are notifying you about your over-due funds. Sometime ago,In the Memorandum of Understanding(MOU)It was revealed in your file as your name was penciled as the bonafide beneficiary to receive your over-due funds which was brought to our bank from the Economic Community of west African States (ECOWAS) In collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF)
We wish to inform you that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) finally resolved the issue in London after one week meeting and decided to pay all out-standing funds payment of US$1,500,000.00(One Million Five Hundred United States Dollars Only) via Swift Telegraphic Wire Transfer(KTT)or swift Online Transfer for onwards payment into your account,which the government is incurring deficit and we are indebted to pay all OVER-DUE funds without any further impediment.
Henceforth,All the previous banks, should submit their payment files due to their bureaucratic activities and inability to release these funds as scheduled by sending you a transfer confirmation slip to enable you notify your bank about the incoming funds into your designated bank account without any further delay.
As a matter of fact we do not have enough time to waste since we have wasted time in contacting our respective customers, so try and comply with the essential remittance requirements to ensure the swift release of these funds into your account. Example, your international passport or your drivers license, your telephone and fax number for easy communication with your designated bank details.
Endeavor to call on Tel:+233-208329262 ,Fax:+233-261557461,E-mail:email@example.com,to ensure the swift transfer of these funds.
We await your prompt reply as soon as possible.
Yours in Service,
HEAD OF TREASURY DEPT.
HSBC BANK GHANA.