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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Vincent Yeboah" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2017 06:38:32 -0400
Subject: Gold for sale/Investment
My name is Vincent Yeboah. I am the Assistant Commissioner Import and Export Ghana custom excise and preventative service, Kotoka Intl airport, Accra Division. I am searching for gold dealer or someone with connection to any person that can buy or help me sell 185 kilograms of gold Dore bars. The buyer will have a good discount below market price and the buyer broker/mandate will be given a good percentage commission.
However, I would like to inform you that the gold was detected during the outward routine check on passengers luggages on South Africa Airline flight to United States. Four boxes belonging to one Israel Jones (45) were found to contain 185 kilograms of gold Dore bars without the necessary export documentations / origin and ownership certificate of the gold. Fellow below link to see previous seizure we made that was delivered to the Ghanaian government.https://www.newsghana.com.gh/gold-worth-18m-seized-at-kia/ without anything to show for it. I decided to cover up the case at the investigation stage because I reached a plea bargain with the smuggler to let him off the hook but the said gold will be confiscated outrightly.
Consequently, I decided to divert the gold to my use, because even if I declare it to my superiors in the office, they will still divert it. I have since deposited the gold with a private vault. Hence, I am looking for a buyer or broker to sell for me. I will be very glad if you can indicate your interest to help us sell the gold in your country. As I said above, the past administration of President John Mahama does not use the generated revenue for the betterment of the citizens and there are massive corruption in every sector of the economy, and our salary has not been paid for the past five months but his regime has been exporting gold, cocoa and crude oil etc to foreign countries on daily basis and yet the poverty level among Ghanaian citizens is above the United Nations benchmark. Worst of it all, we cannot afford to pay our children school fees because our salary is not paid. This singular reason informed my decision to help ourselves with the proceeds that will emanate
I look forward to working with you.