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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 17:25:00 -0430
Subject: SEEKING FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE
ABIDJAN, COTE D' IVOIRE.
MY NAME IS ( ROSE SIGCAU) NATIONALITY SIERRA LEONE.
25 YEARS OLD,A STUDENT,I STUDIED MARKETING IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION IN
UNIVERSITY. I LOST MY FATHER YEARS BACK HE DIED DURING THE POLITICAL
MY COUNTRY.MY LATE FATHER WAS ONE OF THE DIRECTORS UNDER TIJAN KABBAH
GOVERNMENT. MY MOTHER IS AGED SHE IS 62 YEARS NOW. I HAVE ONE YOUNGER
WE ARE ALL LEAVING IN COTE D'IVOIRE SINCE PAST SIX MONTHS.
DESIRE TO WRITE YOU FROM MY HEART HOPING THAT YOU WILL NOT BETRAY US. MY
FATHER DIVERTED SOME HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY WHICH HE DEPOSITED WITH ONE
WHEN HE WAS ALIVE. IN FACT ALL THE RELEVANT DETAILS WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU
I HEAR FROM YOU. THE MONEY IN QUESTION IS US$27,000,000.00 (TWENTY SEVEN
MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS )NOW WE ARE SEEKING FOR A TRUST WORTHY
WHO WILL RECEIVE THIS MONEY INTO HIS / HER ACCOUNT FOR ONWARD INVESTMENT.
HOWEVER, WHAT WE NEEDED FROM YOU IS YOUR GOOD ASSISTANCE IN
TRANSFER THE SAID SUM TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT SINCE WE ARE INEXPERIENCED IN
WORLD OF BUSINESS,ALL DOCUMENTS CONCERNING THIS DEPOSIT WILL BE GIVEN TO
FOR YOUR VERIFICATION.I AND MY FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE DECIDED TO OFFER YOU
THE TOTAL SUM FOR YOUR GOOD ASSISTANCE.
OUR BEST REGARDS.
SIGCAU ON BEHALF OF THE FAMILY