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:
- "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)
- "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: "Jimmy Andreewson" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 17:25:09 -0000
Subject: PLEASE THIS IS NOT A SPAM MAIL
Hello my dear,
Good day and God bless you,please this is not a spam mail,i purposely write to seek for your cooperation and assistance,I am Jimmy Andreewson and the only surviving Child of my parents,
I am writing you from the Republic of Cote D'Ivoire where I have been living after the brutal war and murder of my parents by the rebels during the renewed fighting in our country. Because of the war my late Father sold his shipping company and took me to another city here in Cote d'Ivoire
where he deposited US$6.000,000.00 in a bank .Due to the current political situation and the incoming presidential election in Cote D'Ivoire, I am seeking for your assistance to be my partner as i want to relocate and lift this money out from Abidjan to a safe account in your country if you will not betray me when the money gets into your country for investment because i will like to invest it in Real Estate so i can also further my studies.
I am willing to offer you a good percentage of the total sum for your help. Please, am waiting for your prompt response .