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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: =?UTF-8?B?bGluayBpbmZv?= <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2017 00:31:03 +0100
I am kofi williams, Director of Projects, GHANA Department of Minerals & Energy. I am making this contact with you based on the committee's need for an individual/ company who is willing to assist us with a solution to a money transfer.
In unfolding this proposal, I want to count on you, as a respected and honest person to handle this transaction with sincerity, trust and confidentiality. I have decided to seek a confidential co-operation with you in the execution of the deal described hereunder for the benefit of all parties and hope you will keep it as a top secret because of the nature of this transaction.
Within the Department of Minerals & Energy where I work as a Director of Project and with the co-operation of one other top officials, we have in our possession as overdue payment bills totaling Twenty - Six Million, Four Hundred And Twenty Six Thousand U. S Dollars (US $26,426,000.00) which we want to transfer abroad with the assistance and co-operation of a foreign company/individual to receive the said funds on our behalf or a reliable foreign non-company account to receive such funds. More so, we are handicapped in the circumstances, as the GHANA Civil Service Code of Conduct does not allow us to operate offshore account hence your importance in the whole transaction.
This amount (US$26.426M) represents the balance of the total contract value executed on behalf of my Department by a foreign contracting firm, which we the officials over-invoiced deliberately. Though the actual contract cost have been paid to the original contractor, leaving the balance in the tune of the said amount which we have in principles got approval to remit by Telegraphic Transfer (T.T) to any foreign bank account you will provide by filing in an application through the Justice Department here in GHANA for the transfer of rights and privileges of the former contractor to you.
I have the authority of my partner involved to discuss on the modalities of sharing with you. Your share of the entire sum will be US$5,9M(22.2%), US$12Million (46.6%)for us and US$8Million (31.2%) for taxation and miscellaneous expenses. The business itself is 100% safe, on your part provided you treat it with utmost secrecy and confidentiality. Also, your area of specialization is not a hindrance to the successful execution of this transaction. I have reposed my confidence in you and hope that you will not disappoint me.
I wait in anticipation of your fullest co-operation. I am available on my confidential telephone lines above or at my alternative email email@example.com to entertain any questions concerning the clarity of this transaction.
Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.
Mr. kofi williams,
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