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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",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)
- "there are practically no risks 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: Mr.Alex Kofi <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:07:26 +0000
Subject: =?windows-1256?Q?I_NEED_YOU?= =?windows-1256?Q?R_ASSISTAN?=
I am contacting you base on recommendation, trust and confidentiality. First let me introduce myself to you. My name is Mr. Alex Kofi I am the regional deputy bank manager of the Barclays Bank Ghana Limited. I am also the Financial Institutional and Public Sector Officer.
I am 51 years of age and married with 3 lovely kids. It may interest you to hear that I am a man of PEACE and INTEGRITY; I only hope we can assist each other. I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit both of us, as the deputy Auditor General Manager of the Barclays Bank Ghana Limited.
It is my duty to send a financial report to our head office in the capital city Accra at the end of each annual general meeting. On the course of this year 1st quarter annual general meeting which ended four weeks ago, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made an excess profit
of Four Million, Five Hundred Thousand united States Dollars [US$4,500,000.00] which my head office are not aware of and will never be aware of.
I have since placed this funds on what we call SUSPENSE ACCOUNT without any beneficiary. As a deputy director of this bank, I cannot be directly connected to the funds, this is why Im contacting you for us to work together so that you can assist me and receive this money into your bank account for us to share.Upon your acceptance of this proposal, I have generally agreed on this sharing ration 40% of the total sum will be given to you for your assistance upon the receipt of the funds in your account while 60% will be for me.
Note that there are practically no risks involved in this transaction, it will be bank to bank transfer, all I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of this funds who made the deposit with Spintex branch so that our bank head Office can order the transfer to your designated
bank account. Such transfer from our head office takes not more than 72hrs.This kind of transfers is just like someone who banks in a particular bank and at a point in time wish to close his or her account and transfer the funds to a different bank.
I assure you we can achieve it successfully if you can follow my instruction and direction, hence I am here to make sure that everything works out.
Reply back to me so that I can give you the full details and the steps to make the transfer successfully, hence I am here to make sure that everything works out.
If you are interesting to assist me kindly reverse back to me through my private e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Thank you for your understanding