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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "chambers" (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: "Rebert Tete Okutu" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 20:13:48 +0100
Subject: FUND TRANSFER NEGOTIATION FOR INVESTMENT..
Hello Dear Friend,
Greeting to you,Please kindly permit me to introduce myself for this business opportunity with you.This mail may be a surprise to you because you did not give me the permission to do so and neither do you know me but before I tell you about myself I want you to please forgive me for sending this mail without your permission. I am writing this letter in confidence believing that if it is the will of God for you to help me and my family, God almighty will bless and reward you abundantly. I need an honest and trust worthy person like you to entrust this huge transfer project unto.
My name is Mr. Robert Okutu, I am a banker here in Ghana. I got your contact from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of International Trade and Industry and reliable source called database through Ghana chambers of commerce. I am a Ghanaian married with 3 kids. I am writing to solicit your assistance in the transfer of US$4,700,000.00 Dollars. I need your help to transfer the sum of Four Million Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars( US$4,700,000.00) into your account as my foreign partner.
The Fund is part of Excess profits made by My Bank Branch last year (2011) in the Bank which i am the manager. I have already submitted annual report for last year to my bank head quarters in Accra - Ghana, and they did not notice the excess profits. I deposited the US$4.7 million in an escrow account without a beneficiary (Anonymous), to avoid any trace.
As an officer of the bank,I cannot be directly connected to this fund because I'm still working with the bank. So, I need your help to transfer this money to your country for you and i to share. I offer you 45% of this money as my foreign partner and 55% would be for me. There is no risk involved because it will be a bank-to-bank transfer. All I need from you is to stand as my foreign partner and owner of the money to enable you present a foreign bank account where the money will be transferred to.
If you accept this proposal, I am prepared to go into partnership with you. Please kindly reply to me for more information on how to proceed.
If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response to me. This is why and only reason why I contacted you, I am willing to go into partnership investment with you owing to your wealth of experience, So please if you are interested to assist on this venture kindly contact me back for a brief discussion on how to proceed so that my bank head office will transfer the Fund into your Nominated Bank account which you provide.
Please do acknowledge your acceptance by forwarding the following information to me.
(1)Your Full Name...........
(2)Your Contact Address:.................
(4)Your Date of Birth...............
(5)Your Private Telephone number..................
I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Mr. Robert Okutu.
Mobile: +233 261 127 688