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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Stephen Mensah" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 15:33:05 -0700
Subject: MY REGARDS TO YOU
My name is Mr. Stephen Mensah, I am a politician from Ghana and also a
formal manager in a financial institution as a Senior Economic Adviser
to Government Ghana. I got your contact from the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Ministry of International Trade and Industry, I am
searching for a reliable and experienced business expert that can
guide me in setting up a lucrative business investment, so I decided
to look for a tourism country or secure country for this investment
project. I have U$12.5 Million Dollars and I need your assistance and
guidance to invest the money in your country.
If you are capable and willing to assist me in collaborating with me
to invest the fund in your country. Do not hesitate in writing or feel
free to call or whats-app me immediately, you received this message.
Mr. Stephen Mensah,
The Regional Manager,
Tema Branch, Accra