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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "JAMES K. NANA" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2017 20:21:03 -0800
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL PLEASE
I wish to contact you on a good business which I want you to assist me, receive this fund into your bank account in your country.I am the manager of Barclays Bank of Ghana Ltd in (Tema branch) a family man and a man of peace. I discovered this money Five million, Five hundred and Forty thousand united state dollars (USD$5,540.000.00) On the course of last year ending 2016 business financial report as the excess profit made in my branch office.
I had already submitted an approved end of the year financial report to my head office here in capital city Accra and they will never know of this excess and I have placed this amount on an Escrow Call Account without a beneficiary. As an officer of this bank I cannot be directly connected to this money and all I need from you is to stand claim as the original depositor of these funds who made the deposit in my branch. Upon your response, I will configure your names/information on our database as holder of the Escrow Call Account.
I will then guide you on how to apply to my head office for the Account Closure/ bank-to-bank remittance of the funds to your designated bank account.I will give you further details upon your acceptance of this proposal.I also intend that you shall retain 35% of the total funds as your commission. Thanks for your assistance and contact me via my email address.
Mr. James N.Kojo.