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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. John Osei" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2018 11:35:24 -0800
Subject: From John Osei
From The Manager,
First Atlantic Bank,
First Light Branch,Accra Ghana
This email is not in anyway an official but a personal and confidential proposal to you. My name is Mr. John Osei. I am the manager of First Light branch of First Atlantic Bank, Accra-Ghana . I am married with two kids. I am writing to solicit your assistance in the transfer of FOUR MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND USD .
This fund is the excess of what my branch in where I am the manager made as profit last year.I have already submitted an approved for end of the Year report to the head office and they will never know of this excess amount that i have already put in an escrow deposit account anonymously.
As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am impelled to request for your mutual assistance to apply and claim this money into your bank account for further investment in your country. I intend to part 25% of this fund to you while 75% shall be for me. Three of my predecessors had similar successful tranaction on the past with their partners and are enjoying their retirment now.
There are practically no risk involved in this transaction and everything that you do to claim this fund will be under legitimate ground. The mode of transfer will via online transfer or by bank to bank transfer.
All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund. If you accept this offer,I will appreciate your timely response, email me with my private email (email@example.com) so i can give you our next line of procedure and you are free to ask me questions. Thank you.