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:
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: MERCELLEN TCHIMOU <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 12:31:35 +0000 (GMT)
MY GREETINGS TO YOU,
After having gone through your profile, I prayed and decided to confide in you for this simple and sincere business.
I am Miss Mercelle Tchimou, The only daughter to the late Mr. Mathias Tchimou of Sierra Leone who was a very wealthy Gold and Diamond dealer. My father was assassinated by unknown gun men after his return trip from Europe with my Mother. All the police efforts to track down the assassins of my late Father and mother has not been successful, Hence I decided to flee to a neighbouring country where I have been since as a refugee seeking asylum in a refugee camp there in Abidjan, Cote d'ivoire.
Meanwhile, before the death of my parents, my late father told me that He deposited the sum of U.S $ 6.500.000.00 with a bank here in Abidjan, Cote d'ivoire where I am residing now. I have gone to the bank with the official lodgement receipt of the money as issued to my father by the bank when he deposited the money and the bank confirmed that the money is with them. I have decided to invest this money out side Africa and I need you to assist me in receiving this money with your bank account while I join you for investment in your country.
I am seeking your assistance to enable me front you to the bank as my foreign partner who will assist me in receiving this money from the bank.
(1) To provide me with your detailed personal information which includes, your full names, Contact address, bank account information and your Telephone and fax numbers so that I can submit it to the bank authorising them to recognise and transfer the money into your bank account as my foreign guardian.
(2) To serve as a guardian to this fund since I am only 17 years.
3) to provide a good business where this money will be invested since am since I am still a novice in the business world
(4) 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 20 % of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transfer of this money into your bank account and 5% for any expenses that might incurred during the transfer process making it 25% of the total amount. Please get back to me asap.
Thanks and God bless.
Miss Mercelle Tchimou.