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: "Mr. Kofi Adomakoh." (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2017 12:20:13 -0000
Subject: Re: Pleasure Meeting You.
Good day, Firstly, I apologize for sending you this sensitive information via e-mail instead of a Certified/Post-mail. It is understandable that you might be a little bit apprehensive because you do not know me, But I have a lucrative business offer of mutual interest to share with you
My name is Mr. Kofi Adomakoh.
I am a retired banker of Barclays Bank Ghana Ltd, I have a transaction of Four Million Five Hundred and Twenty Thousand Dollars ($4,520,000.00). I realized this fund from bank excess profit after trading with the capital sum and I deposited the funds in escrow call account. Finally I did not declare these funds to the bank before my retirement. I am contacting you, to stand as the beneficiary of these funds. I will give you 50% of the funds as your commission.
I am critically ill that is why I contacted you to finalize this transaction to enable me have a very good medical treatment. If you are interested, contact me indicating your full names or company name and address. Your direct telephone and fax numbers.
Mr. Kofi Adomakoh.