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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Charles Fredrick <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 22:28:00 +0000
Subject: From: Mr. Charles Fredrick
From: Mr. Charles FredrickHse No.11 Monrovia Close Labadi,Accra - Ghana.
We want to transfer to overseas ($ 42,000.000.00 USD) from a prime bank here in Ghana, I want to ask you to quietly look for a reliable and honest person who will be capable and fit to provide either an existing bank account or to set up a new Bank account immediately to receive this money, even an empty account can serve to receive this money as long as you will remain honest to me till the end of this important business, trusting in you and believing in God that you will never let me down either now or in future.
I am Mr. Charles Fredrick, Director of International Relation with a bank here in Ghana,during the course of our auditing I discovered a floating fund in an account opened in the bank in 2001 and since 2004 nobody has operated on this account again, after going through some old files in the records I discovered that the owner of the account died without a [heir] hence the money is floating and if I do not remit this money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing. The owner of this account is Mr.John Montalto , a foreigner, and a sailor, and he died since 2004. and no other person knows about this account or any thing concerning it, the account has no other beneficiary and my investigation proved to me as well that Late Mr.John Montalto was the manager of J.Montalto.(Gh). LTD.
We will start the first transfer with Twelve Million USD [$12,000.000.00] upon successful transaction without any disappoint from your side, we shall re-apply for the payment of the remaining amount to your account. Send also your private telephone and fax number including the full details of the account to be used for the deposit as started above. I need your full co-operation to make this work fine because the management is ready to approve this payment to any foreigner who has correct information of this account, which I will give to you, upon your positive response and once I am convinced that you are capable and will meet up with instruction of a key bank official who is helping us in this business.
I need your strong assurance that you will never let me down. With the influence and the position of the key bank official we can transfer this money to any foreigner's reliable account which you can provide with assurance that the fund will be intact in your account pending my visit to your country for sharing.
At the conclusion of this business, you will be given 50% of the total amount and 50% will be for me since its 2 man's business. I look forward to hear from you as soon as possible if you are interested.
Mr. Charles Fredrick