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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Keren Happuch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2010 17:21:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: From Miss. Keren Happuch
>From Miss. Keren Happuch
My address: 1002 Triech Town Lot 21
Abidjan 01, Cote D'ivoire.
Praise the Lord Jesus Christ our Sevior, My dear permit me to inform you of my heart desire of going into business relationship with you. I must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and sincere business. My name is Miss Keren Happuch, a Christianity by Religion, i am the only Daughter of late Mr.and Mrs. Happuch. My father was a very wealth cocoa merchant in Abidjan, the economic capital of Cote D'ivoire, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip in France. My mother died when I was a baby and since then my father took good of me so special before his death.
Before the death of my father on November 2006 in a private hospital here in Abidjan, he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of Nine Million, Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars ( USD$9.500,000 ) deposited in one the church security company here in Abidjan Cote D'ivoire, that he used my name as his only daughter for the next of kin's in depositing of the 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 any country of my choice where I will deliver this fund and use it for investment purpose such as real estate management or hotel management.
Dear, I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways: (1) To serve me as a guardian of this fund since I am only 21 years old. (2) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a resident permit in your country.
Moreover, I am willing to offer you 25 % of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful deliverring this fund to your country overseas.
I will also offer 15 % of the Total Money to Charity Organisations Widows, Propagating the word of God and Church development on my name as Donation in your country because I am orphan Girl.
Furthermore, you indicate your options towards assisting me as I believe that this transaction would be concluded within fourteen (14) days you signify interest to assist me. Anticipating to hear from you soon, contact me with this E-mail address: email@example.com ?
Thanks and God bless.
Miss. Keren Happuch.