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:
- "million american 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)
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: From Vivian Coulibaly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 10:46:46 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Please Dear I need your support
I am sorry to come to you in this way, but I did as my heart lead me to choose you. Well I am Miss Vivian Coulibaly, 21 years old girl, a student. I am the only child and daughter to late Mr. and Mrs. Bright Hyman Coulibaly. A Nationality of Ivory Coast.
My father was a wealthy man, and the owner of BRISCO CAR DEALERS LTD in the city of LOME TOGO, also he was a politician before he was poisoned by the enemies of progress and he fall into deep sickness that lead him to death,
His death was very painful to me because, my mother died of heart failure when I was just 6 years old. Since my mother died my father took me so special because I am motherless. When my father was at the point of death at Christ the King Hospital LOME he secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has a fund (5,000.000. Five Million American Dollars) which he deposited in a Government bank There in the capital territory Lome, that he used my name as his only Daughter and the person who will inherit the deposit fund in case if he is no more.
Since two years ago my father died I was busy with my studies before the recent political crisis arises in my country ivory coast Which has affected my soul to be killed and injured, I have manage to escape from my country now to TOGO for the claiming of my father fund in the bank so that I can use the money to start up a new life in your country and to further my education and for investment purpose of the money.
Therefore my dear I am desperately in need of your humble assistance in following ways,
1) To assist me in retrieving this money from the bank to your own account,
2) To serve as the guardian of this money since i am still a young student,
3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a citizenship permit in your country.
Moreover I am willing to give you 40% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transfer of this money to your account. And you will also help me to invest my own share 60% into a good business so that i will not suffer in future. Immediately i hear from you concerning my request. I will forward to you all the necessary information's concerning this deposit Fund so that we can start the procedure of transfer the money to your account..
I will stop here now and wait to hear from you soon.
Thanks and God bless you as you bring out your heart willingly to help me out.
My Love and best regards to you.