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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr John Fofo." (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2019 10:23:34 +0100
Subject: RE: CONFIDENTIAL,
I write to seek your co-operation and partnership to finalize a highly profitable business transaction. This transaction entails little or no risk and you can be rest assured that you will be highly rewarded for the expected services and assistance.
I am Mr John Fofo, the chief audit officer of a leading commercial bank in Togo. During a routine audit in the bank, it happened we discovered the sum of $6.2M USD lying in a suspense account and all efforts to contact the rightful owner of the funds has proved abortive .Upon further investigations, it was discovered that the funds were meant for payment to a government contractor who unfortunately has passed away and no one will ever come forward to claim the funds.
Therefore i seek your consent and co-operation to enable us transfer out the funds from the suspense account. We can achieve this without any encumbrances since I have the full support of some top managers in the bank. I am seeking your consent to receive the funds as the rightful beneficiary. We are very certain that nobody will ever come forward to claim this funds.
The procedure that we will follow is quite simple.
1. The bank will issue an ATM in your name linked to account.
2. You will be required to withdraw a agreed sum of money on daily basis and make weekly transfers to account which i will provide.
3. We will increase the daily withdrawal limit on the card to ensure that we can complete the withdrawal and transfer of the funds faster.
Mr John Fofo.