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:
- "trunk box" (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)
- "can i trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
Fraud email example:
From: HELEN EDWARD <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 2009 03:23:01 +0900 (JST)
Subject: FROM HELEN EDWARD
FROM HELEN EDWARD
Lot 63 Blvd du Marseille.
Bietry Zone 4.Abidjan Cote d 選voire.
Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONFIDENTIAL INVESTMENT AND TRANSFER
l am Miss Helen Edward of Harare town in Zimbabwe.,19 years, from Zimbabwe.
l am the only child of my parents, late Mr and Mrs Raymond/Mariatha Edward. My father was one of the major farmers in Zimbabwe, also one of the major exporters of cocoa from here. He was against the bad government of President Mugabe which led to his assassination by Mugabe boys.
There is this huge amount of six. Five million U.S dollars ($6.5, 000,000.00) which my late father kept with Fiduciary Fund Holder in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire (West Africa) before he was assassinated by the Mugabe boys and the fund is in a Metallic Trunk Box. Now I have decided to invest this money
in your country or anywhere safe enough outside my country for security and political reasons.
I want you to help me to claim and retrieve this box from the Fiduciary Fund Holders and transfer it into your personal account in your country for investment purposes. I will like to know in which business we can invest this fund into as soon as it arrives your country.
Now I want to ask you something;
1) Can I trust you?
2) Can you take me as your sister?
If you can be of an assistance to us we will be pleased to offer to you 20% of the total fund.
I await your soonest response.
Miss Helen Edward
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