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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "you will be given 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Gil Snyder" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 18:29:32 -0700
Subject: Important Issue...
Good day, I know this mail will come to you as a surprise but I need to contact you because of the urgency and confidentiality of this business transaction, I am Chief Account officer of the Ghana Gold Mining Corporation (GGMC).I have a deal here in my office I need a foreign partner to execute with me, I and my colleague over invoiced a contract payment valued US$105million. We awarded contracts for the supply and maintenance of all the Gold field and mining equipment for the nation gold mines to some foreign contractors valued US$5billion, which we over invoiced US$105million addition to the total contract sum.
Now as a matter of fact, most of the contractors have been paid and the remaining contractors payments are under process to be paid to them. With that, I and my colleague have decided to include you among these remaining contractors to process the sum of the US$105Million in your company or in your name to claim it for our mutual benefit.
I am now contacting you to present you as the sub-contractor who has this amount of US$105million to be paid for the supply of heavy mining equipment used in recent overhauling of the refineries and mining sites.I will advise you furnish me with your personal information including your personal cell phone number and the name of your company with address to enable me register it with our cooperate affairs commission in charge of allied and companies registration as an indigenous company.
It is mandatory that any foreign company must be registered in this country. Also with your acceptance to execute this business with me, I need to be sure of your confidentiality towards the conclusion of this deal, you will be given 30% of the total amount, while I and my colleague will take 70% once the money gets into your company account in your country.Also with my position here, I can officially arrange with you to be lifting 140 or 200 Kilograms of gold per month by getting a year or two years Gold allocation contract in your name and company name whether you are here or not. With this we can make more money from the Gold lifting here in Ghana. I will detail you more on this once I get your response.
Thank you and hope to hear from you as soon as possible. Send me your cell phone number or Email to call you for more details.