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)
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: doris raymond <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2010 05:19:24 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP
PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP
My Dearest One,
I am Miss Doris Raymond, 19 years old and the only daughter of my late
Mr.and Mrs Raymond. My father was a highly reputable business
Man-(GOLD/DIAMOND)dealer who operated in the capital of Cote D'Ivoire
It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during
one of his business trips abroad year 12th.Febuary 2007.Though his
sudden death was linkedor rather suspected to have been masterminded
by an uncle of his who travelled with him at that time But God knows
My mother died when I was little,and since then my father took me
so special. Before his death on Febuary 12 2007 he called the
secretary who accompanied him to the hospital and told him that he has
the sum of (Seven Million five hundred thousand United State
Dollars.(USD $7.5M) left in fixed deposit account in a BANK here in
Abidjan-Cote D'Ivoire and the bank want to go from this place to
tunisie i dont want that fund to be transfer to tunsie i need your
help so that we can get this fund from them my father told him that he
deposited the money in my name,and finally issued a written
instruction to his lawyer whom he said is in possession of all the
necessary legal documents to this fund.
Iam just 19 years old and i don't know what to do.Now I want an
account overseas where I can
transfer this funds.
This is because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of
incessant political crisis here in Cote D'Ivoire.
The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life ,I am in
a sincere desire of your humble
assistance in this regards.
Your suggestions and ideas will behighly regarded Now permit me to ask
these few questions:-
1. Can you honestly help me ?
2. Can I completely trust you?
3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for
you after the money is in your account? Please, Consider this and get
back to me as soon as possible.
Thank you so much, My sincere regards
>From Miss Doris Raymond.