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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Stella Kovo <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2010 05:15:46 -0800 (PST)
Subject: URGENT MATTER
I am Miss Stella Kovo 23 years old young girl from ivory coast, Only child/Daughter of late Mr Michael Kovo I have 9.5 million USD which was made by my late father before he died in oct 2006 which is left in a suspence account in a bank here in my country Ivory Coast. I seek your permision to remmit, this amount into your account so that i will relocate to your country to further my studies, while you invest the money into a good besiness that will profite the both of us since i do not know how business is being handle in your country, I have accepted to offer you 20% of the total sum for your desire to assist me.
I will like to know your desire concerning this proposal, and do respond to me with the following requested information in other to include them in the application letter which i shall submite to the bank to officialy deal with you as my Fathers Forign Business Partner and family money reciever, the information is as bellow.
Your full name....................................
Your Legal contact info...........................
Your country of origin............................
In getting this informations from you and knowing your desire in assisting me in this project, i will furward you the contact of the bank where the money has been deposited by my late father Mr Michael Guei, so that you will contact them your self, and request for the immediate transfer of the fund, the Lodgement Deposited Certificat Documents wish was issue to my late father when he made the deposit is with me, and i will like to send it to you for proof that this transaction is 100% risk free and legal.
Pleas do respond immediately you recieve this mail for more informations regarding the transfer.
Please, Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible.
My Best Regards
Miss Stella Kovo