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:
- "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)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sussan Jacques" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 14:59:40 -0400
Subject: PLEASE HELP US.
PLEASE HELP US.
Greetings! My name is Miss. Sussan Jacques and my brother is Loran Jacques, we are
children of late Dr. Innocent Jacques from Cote D'Ivoire, (Ivory Coast). Our late
father was the General Manager of Zimbabwian Diamond Mining Corporation
(Z.D.M.C.). He was among the few black rich farmers murdered in cold blood by the
agent of the ruling government of President Robert Mugabe for his alleged support
and sympathy for Zimbabwe supporters of main opposition party (Movement for
Democratic Change) (M.D.C).
Before the death of our father, he deposited in the bank the sum of US$9.5,million
(Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) in one of the Investment
Bank here in Ivory Coast, for investement before his sudden death. We are
contacting you for you to assist us transfer this money to your country for
investment in your Company under your Management while we continue our education
there in your country because our education stopped due to the death of our
Father. Our mother died after giving birth to us, so we never knew our mother.
Behold, our only hope and courage in life which was our father was killed by
Many thanks to you if you can help us as we would compensate you with 20% of the
total money after this money has been successfully transferred into your safe bank
account in your country.
Thanks and best regards. We will be waiting for your mail.
Sussan and Loran Jacques.
PLEASE GO THROUGH THE BELOW WEB SITE.