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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- ",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)
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: BANK OF GHANA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2022 08:51:57 -0800
Subject: Re:TRANSFER OF US$1.5 MILLION INTO YOUR ACCOUNT
BANK OF GHANA
(Head Office Annex)
One Thorpe Road,
P.O.Box GP 2674
Dear Fund Beneficiary,
I am Dr.Ernest Kwamina Addison, Governor Bank Of Ghana.I am writing to
inform you about your long over-due funds that was brought here in my
office to arrange and facilitate the immediate release of the said amount
of US$1,500,000.00 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars
Only) being your Part-Payment into your bank account,which you know that
this payment has been taken longer than you expected.
It was revealed in your payment file as your name was penciled as the
unpaid bonafide beneficiary to receive your long over-due funds that was
brought to our bank from the Economic Community of west African
States(ECOWAS), International Monetary Fund(IMF)and United Nation(UN).They
finally resolved this issue after one week meeting in New York, United
States as they decided to pay all long out-standing Part-payment sum of
US$1,500,000.00(One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars
Only) as we are indebted to pay all long OVER-DUE payment without any
Kindly comply with the essential remittance requirements. Example, your
international passport copy or your drivers license copy, your private
telephone number for easy communication and your designated bank details to
ensure the swift release of these funds into your account.
Please remember to send your particulars as listed below.The moment you
send the information , then I will furnish you with further directives on
this Payment arrangement today.
I look forward to your response.
Yours in Service,
Dr.Ernest Kwamina Addison
Bank Of Ghana.