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)
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: daughter of zion jenny <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2009 09:14:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Dearest one,
I am writing these letters with due respects and with tears since we have not known or met ourselves in person before, Please I am asking for your assistance immediately because I am in a big problem this place. I want to find out if it is possible for you to help me with the request that I am propossing below.
I came across your profile and I feel it is highly reputable that is why I pick an interest getting across to you in respect of investment at my disposal and relocating to your country for my security purpose. I will be so glad if you can allow me and lead me to the right channel towards your assistance to my situation now. I would like to use this opportunity to introduce myself to you properly. I am Christiane Daniel 20Yrs from Abidjan(Cote D' Ivoire), the only daughter of Late Daniel Athanase. My father is now late but in his days he was a well known cocoa and gold merchant business man in my country( cote d ivore) , before he was poisoned by his co-business partner.
The main reason why I am contacting you now is to seek your assistance in the area of my future investment and also for a help hand over some huge amount of money in my possession as my inheritance through my late father. This money is Three Million Six Hundred Great British Pounds Sterling ( £3.6 million GBP) and my late father deposited it in one of the banks here in my country Abidjan(Cote D' Ivoire), before he was poisoned and my father also used my name as the sole beneficiary incase of death because I am his only child.
I am now asking you to stand on my behalf as my partner and in time of this claim and investment as well. I have made up my mind to offer you 5% of the total money while the remaining will go into a productive investment.
Please attach your direct and full information as you reply to me.
Thanks and remain bless.
Miss Christiane Daniel.