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:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Herman Vivian <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 16:05:02 +0000
Subject: FROM VIVIAN NNA
FROM VIVIAN NNA
ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST
COMPLIMENT OF THE SEASON,MY DEAREST ONE,
I'M SORRY TO COME TO YOU IN THIS WAY , I COME ACROSS YOUR AID AND MY SPIRIT LEAD ME TO CHOSE YOU. WELL I REALLY NEEDED SOMEONE HONEST, TRUTHFUL TO SHARE MY FEELINGS WITH AND TO SHARE BURDEN WITH AND WILL LEAD ME TO INTRODUCED MYSELF TO YOU. I AM VIVIAN NNA THE ONLY CHILD AND DAUGHTER OF LATE MR. HERMANN NNA. MY FATHER WAS A VERY WEALTHY COCOA MERCHANT BASED IN ABIDJAN, THE ECONOMIC CAPITAL OF IVORY COAST BEFORE HE WAS POISONED TO DEATH BY HIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATES ON ONE OF THEIR OUTING TO DISCUSS ON A BUSINESS.
WHEN MY MOTHER DIED ON THE 15TH DECEMBER 2000, MY FATHER TOOK ME SO SPECIAL BECAUSE I WAS MOTHERLESS. BEFORE THE DEATH OF MY FATHER ON 25TH JUNE 2006 IN A PRIVATE HOSPITAL HERE IN ABIDJAN. HE SECRETLY CALLED ME ON HIS BEDSIDE AND TOLD ME THAT HE HAS A SUM OF US
$5.500,000 (FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND, UNITED STATES DOLLARS) WAS DEPOSITED AT THE SUSPENCE ACCOUNT IN A LOCAL BANK HERE IN ABIDJAN, THAT HE USED MY NAME AS HIS ONLY DAUGHTER AND THE PERSON THAT WILL INHERIT THE DEPOSITED FUND . HE ALSO EXPLAINED TO ME THAT IT WAS BECAUSE OF THIS WEALTH THAT HE WAS POISONED BY HIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATES. THAT I SHOULD SEEK FOR A FOREIGN PARTNER IN A COUNTRY OF MY CHOICE WHERE I WILL TRANSFER THIS MONEY AND USE IT FOR INVESTMENT PURPOSE, (SUCH AS REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT).. NOW, I AM HONOURABLY SEEKING YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS.
( 1)TO PROVIDE A BANK ACCOUNT WHERE THIS MONEY WOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO
( 2)TO SERVE AS THE GUARDIAN OF THIS FUND SINCE I AM A GIRL OF 21 YEARS
(3)TO MAKE ARRANGEMENT FOR ME TO COME OVER TO YOUR COUNTRY AFTER THE MONEY HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED.
MOREOVER, I AM WILLING TO OFFER YOU 20% OF THE TOTAL SUM AS COMPENSATION FOR YOUR EFFORT/INPUT AFTER THE SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER OF THIS FUND TO YOUR NORMINATED ACCOUNT OVERSEAS. FURTHERMORE, YOU CAN INDICATE YOUR OPTION TOWARDS ASSISTING ME AS I BELIEVE THAT THIS TRANSACTION WOULD BE CONCLUDED WITHIN SEVEN (7) DAYS YOU SIGNIFY INTEREST TO ASSIST ME.
ANTICIPATING TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.
THANKS AND GOD BLESS