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 united states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Joseph Ofori Teiko" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 08:12:01 +0100
Subject: HELLO PARTNER
With so much respect to you and with a good heart and the need to establish relationship with you I write you. I beg you not to regard this as a joke or as a contact to inflict harm on you. Please do consider this mail as one sent from a man who above all seeks peace, confidentiality and your assistance.
I have a proposal to make to you that will not bring harm to you in anyway. This proposal will bring immense financial gains to you and also put you in a position to manage a sizable financial portfolio. Note that I am contacting you because of the confidentiality I want to maintain in this regard. I would have contacted diplomatic affiliates in Europe, America or the Far East Asia but this issue requires contacting an individual that can handle issues quietly without making it public.
I am Mr. Joseph Ofori Teiko staff of CAL bank Ghana.I am contacting you in respect to a financial portfolio of Ten Million United States Dollars (US $10 Million) deposited in a security firm whose depositor died in mid 2007. As the Director, Treasury (International) Operations Unit,
I want to assure you again that this will not put you at risk or in danger in anyway. It is a quiet arrangement that will be strictly between me and you. I will introduce myself fully to you and give you the details of the proposal once I hear from you.
Mr.Joseph Ofori Teiko