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)
- "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)
- "there is no risk 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: "Mr, James Kwame" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 May 2018 15:46:27 -0700
Subject: Re; My Dear Friend, my future partner.
My Dear Friend, my future partner,
My name is Mr. James Kwame. I am a banker here in Ghana. I got your contact from the online data base. I need your help to transfer the sum of US$13,900,000.00 into your account as my foreign investment partner. The money is part of the profits made by our bank in (i.e. 2014/2015) in the branch where I am the manager. I have already submitted annual report for last two years and last year to my bank head office in Accra - Ghana, and they did not notice the excess profits.
Meanwhile, I deposited the US$13,900,000.00 in an escrow account without a beneficiary (Anonymous), to avoid any trace. I cannot be directly connected to this fund because I'm still working with the bank. So, I need your help to transfer this money to your country for you and I to share. I have the desire to invest my own share of the money in any good business venture over there in your Country. I wish to point out 10% of this money to be shared among the charity organization, the remaining 90%, you have 30% of this money as my foreign partner and 60% would be for me. There is no risk involved because it will be a bank-to-bank transfer. All I need from you is to stand as my foreign partner and I will present your name as the owner of the money to enable you provide a foreign bank account where the money will be transferred into. The intended transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect both of us from any breach of the law.
However, if this business proposal offends your moral ethics, do accept my sincere apology. If on the contrary you wish to achieve this goal with me, please kindly get back to me with your interest for further clarifications.
Thanking you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.
Mr, James Kwame