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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Vivian Halibu <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2010 02:08:01 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Dear respectful one.
Dear respectful one.
It's my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which I intend to establish with you in your country through your directives, thou we have not meet before, but one have to believe in someone before having a success in life,i was convinced disclosing this transaction to you, after reading through your profile on the web directory. I am 19 years old the only child of my late parent Late Mr & Mrs Thamos Halibu,we are Native of Yamoussoukrou Cote D'ivoire west africa, currently am sleeping in a guest house for my safety from my late fathers uncle who wants me dead at all cost because of my inheritance as the only daughter. there is this huge amount of Four Million, five hundred thousand united state dollars ($4.500, 000.00usd) which my late father deposited in a finance firm with my name as immediate next of kin, before he was assassinated by some unknown enemies on the 27th day of April 2008. Now I have decided to invest this money in your country
or anywhere safe enough through your matured directives for security and political reasons going on in my country now. I urge that you help me in retrieving my inheritance fund from the bank as my foreign trustee/principal partner and help me invest the money in any venture you finds good in your country.
Now permit me to ask these few questions:-
1. Can you honestly help me as your Friend?
2. Can I completely trust you?
3. Can you get me a good school for the continuation of my educational Carrier which was disrupts by sudden death of my parents?
If you can be of honest and sincere assistance to me, I will be pleased to offer to you good percent of the total fund for your kind and faithfulness.
Further details will be made known to you upon confirmation of your interest to assist me.all related certificates that covers my inheritance with the bank.you ust keep this to yourself alone till i arrive your country.
I am immensely waiting for your urgent response .
With due regards,
Miss Vivian Halibu..