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 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Vivian Nma <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 18:37:42 +0800 (CST)
Subject: I WAIT FOR YOUR URGENT REPLY
No 56 reu marccory street.
My dear i am sorry to come to you in this way, i came across your profile and my spirit lead me to chose you,well i realy needed some one honest, truthfull to share my feelings and my burden with you, let me introduce my self to you, I am Miss Vivian Nma, 21 years old the only daugther to late Mr and Mrs Harmann Nma. a Native of Ivory Coast in West Africa.
My father was a highly reputable business man (a cocoa merchant) who operated in Abidjan the capital city of lvory coast during his days. It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad on 12th.August 2006.Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been master minded by one of his family member who travelled with him at that time. But God knows the truth!
My mother died when I was just 6 years old . Since then my father took me so special. Before the death of my father on August 12 2006 in a private hospital , he secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum (US$ 5,500,000 ,FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) which was deposited at the suspence account in a local bank here in Abidjan,that he used my name as his only Daughter and the person who will inherit the deposit fund incase if he is no more.
He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by one of his family members who travelled with him at that time,he told me that incase if he is no more that i should seek for a foreign patner in a country of my choice who will help me to receive the fund into his/her account and i will travell to the country and use the fund for investment purpose and also further my education there.
The document which I have in my possession now carries my late father's name as the depositor, while I'm the next of kin on the same document. I am just 21 years old and a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do now.. The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life. dear, I am sincerely asking for your humble assistance in this regards. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. and after the succesfull transfer of the money into your account i promise with faith to give you 30% of the total sum.
Dear permit me to ask these few questions:-
1. Can you honestly help me as your Sister/Daughter?
2. Can I completely trust you?
3. Can you promise me that you will not betray me when this money will get to your possition?
Please, Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible
Immidiately i hear from you concerning my request.I will forward to you all the neccessary documents concerning this deposit with the bank contact so that you will contact the bank for the transfer of the money into your account..
Thanks and GOD bless you as you bring out your mind willingly to help me out from this situation,
My best regards to you.
yours lovely one