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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "it will be a bank to bank transfer" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "there are practically no risks involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Harry" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 23:55:41 -0800
Subject: Re:Regional Manager.
Compliment of the Seasons.,
My name is Mr.Harry O.Kwesi, I am the Ashanti Regional Manager of the Commercial Bank in Ghana-West Africa. I do not want problems but I just hope you can assist me. I write you this letter in good faith.
I am in control of Thirty-Two Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars ($32,850,000.00) and I realized the excess profit from a contract that was awarded to a foreign company here in Ghana by the Health Organization to supply Ante-Natal and Post-Natal Drugs to rural areas in Ghana and other West African Countries. This said money for the supply of drugs was first deposited with the Bank where I work. With my position as the manager, I trade with the money in Stock Market before the contractors withdrew the money for the said purpose. While I deposited the profit I made on Escrow Call Account though I did not declare this Profits to my bank management at the head office.
I am contacting you today to partber with me in concluding this transaction, and to stand-in as the beneficiary of this fund because as the regional manager I don't have to be involved with this kind of amount of money. Note also, I can move this money to our offshore filtering center London covering the region, but can I rely trust you to hold this money after receiving it for me pending my arrival to your country or the sharing and disbursing the funds between us.If you accept my offer you can contact me only on my private phone number or email-address. If you do not accept can you forget I contacted you?
All I need is for you to get me a good current account in your bank where I can move this money. There are practically no risks involved, it will be a bank to bank transfer. I hope you understand my situation.
Thank you and God bless.
Mr. Harry O. Kwesi.