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)
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "you will be entitled to 30%" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "OWUSU PAUL" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2016 07:24:48 +0700
Subject: **SPAM**2409 Re Re FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT GET BACK TO ME
FROM MR OWUSU PAUL.
AUDITING AND ACCOUNTING UNIT.
FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT.
I am Mr Owusu Paul the head of auditing and accounting section of ECOWAS BANK GHANA in West Africa with due respect and regard.I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction .
During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person who died On the 21st of April 2005 with his wife and their only daughter were involved in auto crash along hilton express road.
Although personally, I keep this information secret within myself to enable the whole plans and idea be Profitable and successful during the time of execution. The said amount was (U.S$30.5M UNITED STATESDOLLARS). Meanwhile all the whole arrangement to put claim over this fund as the bonafide next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and
transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit yourself to this great business opportunity.
Infact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant(A Banker),we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank.
This is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow who will forward claims as the next of kin with affidavit of oath to the Bank and also present a foreign account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his request as it may be after due verification and clarification by the correspondent branch of the bank where the whole money will be remitted from to your own designation bank account.
I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free. On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 30% of the total sum as gratification, while 10% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer and also telephone bills, while 60% will be for me.
Please, you have been adviced to keep it as a "top secret" as I am still in service and intend to retire from service after I conclude this deal with you.so i will need this contacts from you,Your private telephone number,your house address,your nationality,fax and your age.
I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money in your account and ask me to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further investment, either in your country or any country you advice me to invest in. All other necessary information will be sent to you when I hear from you.
Mr MR OWUSU PAUL.