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:
- "million united state 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)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22544685981 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Athenz Udoma" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 04:27:58 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Reply and call me.
I humbly crave your indulgence in sending you this email, Before I proceed I would like to introduce my self to you.Â
My name is Mr. Athenz Udoma. an attorney here in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.I have urgent and confidential business preposition for you that will benefit both of us.Â Â
The opportunity I presented to you today which I considered a "GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY" golden because this kind of opportunity is rare and it does not come everyday, so, I am grabbing it with both hands.
To go straight to my point, I have with me here in Abidjan,Cote d' Ivoire Alvis Nana Dabo son of late Baciro Dabo presidential candidate and a former Defense Minister who was killed on Friday 5th June by soldiers in Guinea-Bissau who accused him of plotting a coup â you can see that on BBCNEWSâ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8084525.stm.Â
Before his father's death he deposited about $20,000.000.00 with a Bank here in Abidjan which he use Alvis as the next of kin and WILLED the fund in his favor, right now the son is hiding here in Abidjan to get the fund transferred outside this country and considering the circumstance at hand he want to use a foreigner to get this fund transfer so we seek you
assistance to present you as Alvis friend to get this fund transferred and you will be highly compensated.Â
The fund in question is $20, 000, 000, 00 (Twenty Million United State dollars) and you will be entitled to 20% of the total fund. I was close to his late father and with my experience as a lawyer I will make sure every document is authentic so that the transaction will be 100% risk free.Â
I need an urgent response from you if you are interested in this deal then I will get you the procedure.
Best personal regards,
Mr. Athenz Udoma