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:
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "fund beneficiary" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: GHANA COMMERCIAL BANK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2020 01:57:28 -0800
Subject: Re:TRANSFER OF US$ 1.5 MILLION INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.
Trust Towers Asylum Down,GCB.
Head Office Ring Road
Re:TRANSFER OF US$ 1.5 MILLION INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.
I am DR.CHRISTIAN AKWA,HEAD OF TREASURY DEPARTMENT,GHANA COMMERCIAL BANK
(GCB)LTD. This is the second time we are notifying you about your over-due
funds. Sometime ago,In the Memorandum of Understanding(MOU)It was revealed
in your file as your name was penciled as the bonafide beneficiary to
receive your over-due funds which was brought to our bank from the Economic
Community of west African States (ECOWAS) In collaboration with the Federal
Ministry of Finance (FMF)
We wish to inform you that the World Bank,International Monetary Fund
(IMF)and United Nation(UN)finally resolved this issue in London after one
week meeting and decided to pay all out-standing funds Part-payment of
US$1,500,000.00(One Million Five Hundred United States Dollars Only) via
Swift Telegraphic Wire Transfer(KTT)or swift Online Transfer for onward
payment into your account,which the government is incurring deficit and we
are indebted to pay all OVER-DUE funds.
Henceforth,All the previous banks, should submit their payment files due to
their inability to release these funds as scheduled by sending you a
transfer confirmation slip to enable you notify your bank about the
incoming funds into your designated bank account without any further delay.
As a matter of fact ,we do not have enough time to waste since we have
wasted much time in contacting our respective customers, so try and comply
with the essential remittance requirements to ensure the swift release of
these funds into your account. Example, your international passport or your
drivers license, your telephone and fax number for easy communication with
your designated bank details.
We await your prompt reply as soon as possible to ensure the swift transfer
of these funds.
Yours in Service,
HEAD OF TREASURY DEPARTMENT,
GHANA COMMERCIAL BANK (GCB)LTD.