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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: greg ayitteh <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:34:22 +0100
Subject: DEAR FRIEND REPLY THIS MESSAGE VERY URGENT.....
Hello My Brother,
I am Mr. Greg Ayitteh, a Banker here in GHANA. I am having an
important business discussion I wish to share with you which I believe
will interest you.
One Late Bello R. Sahil, had a fixed deposit with my bank in 2004 for
48 calendar months, valued at US $8,400,000.00 (Eight Million,four
Hundred Thousand US Dollars,Only) the due date for this deposit
contract was the 16th of January 2008. Sadly Bello was among the
death victims in the May 26 2006 Earthquake disaster in Java,
Indonesia that killed over 5,000 people. He was in Indonesia on a
business trip and that was how he met his end. My bank management is
yet to know about his death, I knew about it because he was my friend
and I am his account officer.
Bello did not mention any Next of Kin/ Heir when the account was
opened, and he Bello was not married and no children. Last week my
Bank Management requested that I should give instructions on what to
do about his funds, if to renew the contract. I know this will happen
and that is why I have been looking for a means to handle the
situation, because if my Bank Directors happen to know that Bello is
dead and do not have any Heir, they will take the funds for their
personal use, so I don't want such to happen.
I am now seeking your co-operation to present you as Next of Kin/Heir
to the account and my bank head quarters will release the account to
you.There is no risk involved; the transaction will be executed under
a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and I from any breach
of law. It is better that we claim the money, than allowing the Bank
Directors to take it, they are rich already. I am not a greedy
person, so I am suggesting we share the funds equal, 50/50% to both
parties, my share will assist me to start my own company which has
been my dream.
Let me know what you think and please do treat this information as TOP
SECRET. I have more to write you about the details once I receive your
urgent response strictly through my personal Email address:
Mr Greg Ayitteh