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:
- ",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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "affidavit " (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "INTERNATIONAL FINANCE BANK OF GHANA LIMITED" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2014 20:58:31 -0800
Subject: Attn: Beneficiary
INTERNATIONAL FINANCE BANK OF GHANA LIMITED
3rd Lane Opera Square P. O. Box AC 174
Our Ref: ANTI/GH/CBN-190-XX-14.
We write to inform you that one Mr. John Moti of California United states of America submitted an account to this international Finance Bank of Ghana Limited (IFBG) and a copy to the Federal ministry of Finance (FMF) with a sworn affidavit and power of attorney authorizing him to receive part payment of US$7,500,000.00 your long overdue funds with Federal Government of Ghana (FGG). In the same affidavit, Mr.John Moti stated that you contacted Ebola virus and died last week at the hospital.
His bank account details are as follows;
Bank name: US BANK
Address: 800 NICOLLET MALL MINEAPOLIS MINESOTA USA.
Account no: 204890700107
Beneficiary: JOHN MOTI
Routing no: 091000142
Swift code: USBKUS441MT
We wish to know if you authorize Mr. John Moti to receive the funds in the sum of Seven Million Five Hundred United States Dollars on your behalf or we should get him arrested since he has an appointment on three days time with this International Finance Bank of Ghana Limited to endorse the hard copies of the funds release documents while the bank credit his account Via Online Swift Wire Transfer.
However, if you do not authorize Mr. John Moti to receive the funds on your behalf, kindly send us a disclaimer email with your personal details as stated below as clear evidence to file litigation against him on your behalf pending your arrive to our office.
Your full names,
international or drivers license data page,
telephone,mobile and fax numbers.
Your prompt reply to this email with be highly appreciated.
Mr Michael Mahama
Chief Executive Managing Director
International Finance Bank of Ghana Limited.