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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: J kojo <email@example.com>
Reply-To: J kojo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:43:23 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Dear Friend,
I hope this may not constitute sort of embarrassment to you, My name is Mr.John Kojo., I am the regional bank manager of the Uni-Bank Ghana Limited,Accra.I am 53 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 regional Auditor General of the Uni-Bank Ghana Limited,Accra. it is my duty to send in a financial report to my head office in the capital city Accra at the end of each year..
On the course of last year 2014 end of year report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made an excess profit of Three Million Seven Hundred And Fifty Thousand united states dollars [USd$3.750,000.00] which my head office are not aware of and will never be aware of.I have since placed this fund on what we call SUSPENSE ACCOUNT without any beneficiary. As an officer of the bank I can not be directly connected to this money, this is why I,m contacting you for us to work 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 50% of the total sum will be given to you for your assistance upon the receipt of the funds in your account while 50% 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 fund who made the deposit with Takoradi branch so that my Head office can order the transfer to your designated bank account.
I assure you we can achieve it successfully if you can follow my instruction and direction. In your reply, please send the following information as underlined below:
1. Your full names...............
2. Your phone number............
3. Your nationality..............
4. Your Age/Sex.................
5. Your occupation..............
Thank you for your understanding.