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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: Anees Molefi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2011 01:10:08 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: PERSONAL PLEASE( NOT JUNK)
PERSONAL PLEASE( NOT JUNK)
MY NAME IS MRS ANEES MOLEFI FROM REPUBLIC OF COTE D 'IVOIRE,I AM THE WIFE OF LATE DR. ZAID MOLEFI WHO WAS A PRIVATE DOCTOR TO THE PRESIDENT LAURENT GBAGBO. MY HUSBAND WAS ASSACINATED BY SOME MILITRY PERSONS DURING THE NATIONAL PROTEST AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DEPOSED PRESIDENT ELECTED, MR.ALASSANE OUATTARA IN 28TH NOVEMBER ELECTION 2010.
PRESENTLY I AM SUFFERING FROM THE CANCER SICKNESS, EVEN AS I AM WRITING TO YOU THIS MESSAGE NOW MY HEALTH CONDITION IS VERY BAD AND FROM ALL INDICATIONS ACCORDING TO MY DOCTORS MEDICAL ANALYSIS,IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT I HAVE JUST FEW MONTHS TO LIVE BECAUSE THE CANCER HAS DONE MANY DAMAGES IN MY HEALTH SYSTEM THAT NO HOPE FOR ME TO SURVIVE IT.
MY OBJECTIVE OF WRITTING THIS LETTER TO YOU IS TO SEEK YOUR HAND IN BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP FOR INVESTMENT OF(USD$10.5M), TEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS WHICH MY LATE HUSBAND LODGED INTO A PROPERTY CARE AND DEPOSITED IN A SECURITY COMPANY HERE IN ABIDJAN COTE D' IVOIRE BEFORE HE DIED. I WANT YOU TO HELP MY ONLY SON OMAR MOLEFI TO MANNAGE THESE FUNDS BECAUSE I HAVE LITTLE TIME TO LIVE ON EARTH.
I DO NOT WISH TO INVEST THESE FUNDS IN MY COUNTRY(COTE D' IVOIRE),THAT IS WHY I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE FOR THE SECURITY OF MY SON'S LIFE. I HAVE DECIDED TO INVEST THIS MONEY IN YOUR COUNTRY OR ANYWHERE SAFE ENOUGH OUTSIDE AFRICA FOR SECURITY AND POLITICAL REASONS. WE HAVE SUFFERED A LOT OF SET BACKS AS A RESULT OF INCESSANT POLITICAL CRISIS HERE IN COTE D' IVOIRE.
THE DEATH OF MY HUSBAND ACCUALLY BROUGHT SORROW TO MY LIFE. I AM IN A SINCERE DESIRE OF YOUR HUMBLE ASSISTANCE IN THIS REGARDS. YOUR SUGGESTION AND IDEAS WILL BE HIGHLY REGARDED. IF YOU ASSIST US WE WILL BE PLEASE TO OFFER TO YOU 30% OF THE TOTAL FUND. I WAIT YOUR SOONEST RESPONSE.
MRS ANEES MOLEFI