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:
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (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: "Dr.Usman Hassan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2017 21:36:47 -0700
Subject: Dear Beloved beneficiary
From the Desk of
RE: THE REASON WHY YOU HAVE NOT SUCCEEDED IN RECEIVING YOUR FUND
After waiting to hear from you or your Ghanaia partner for a long time
now, I decided to make this direct approach to you as my new
resolution in other not to let it be if I have anything in mind
against you. I do not know if you have asked yourself why each time
the release of this fund is approved, all of a sudden, the payment
will be stopped or one problem or the other will come up if you have
not asked this question or you do not know, this is an opportunity for
me to tell you.
Some time ago, your Ghanaian friends, I mean the people that
introduced you to the project approached me through my dear wife who
work with the Federal Ministry of Finance and requested me to assist
them conclude a money transfer deal they had with you. They requested
me to assist them by removing the original contractorâs name,
companyâs name and bank particulars from the Central Bank of Ghana
(BANK OF GHANA) vetting computer and replacing them with your name and
bank details in order to make you appear as the rightful beneficiary
of this fund.
I agreed on condition that they will pay me US$80,000.00 as soon as
your name appears as the beneficiary. I did as agreed and demanded to
be paid, but your friends started telling me stories, they even told
me you promised to send money to me.
Do you know that up till now, I have not received a single cent from
them and have not set my eyes on any of them? Based on their
attitude, I decided to stop the fund release movement because I cannot
be denied of my right in my own office considering the risk as it
might affect my job.. Secondly, I know the source of the funds that
you did not execute any contract in Nigeria , although I am the only
person privileged to know this information and it is a fact. Why I am
making this clear to you is that I can see that you are still making
efforts in order to conclude this project. Now I am ready to forget
I do not need the US $80.000.00 any longer from you but a good
compensation from your mind. I need your assurance that those
colleagues will be totally kept out of this transaction. I know that
none of them is aware of my new approach to you. Stop spending your
money unnecessarily to bank of Ghana Officers both here and overseas
because you will not receive this money without my hand in it. I
personally did the work at the beginning and only I can perform it.
I need your promise that no official of the Bank of Ghana will be
aware of my involvement in this regard because of my position. Now
re-assure me that you will be willing to compensate me and that you
will assist my wife to establish a foreign account in your country
where my compensation will be lodged. Also a TT FUND RELEASE APPROVAL
DOCUMENTS will be sent to you for endorsement after which I will remit
the money within 48 hours.
I am a man of my word. If you are ready to conclude this business with
me, kindly contact me on my so that we can have a chat over this
issue once and for all. But if the reverse is the case, do not bother
yourself to reach me and forget about this money.
Dr. Usman Hassan