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:
- "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: Stella <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 20:45:52 +0100 (BST)
I am Miss Stella Donald (21 years) the only surviving child of late Dr.Frank Donald. I am in possesion of some documents covering the deposit of US$5.3 Million which my late father deposited in the Security company in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire. I have verified the transaction with the Security Company here and it's authencity is clear. I am soliciting for your kind assistance in retrieving and claiming this fund from the Security company here as my father's business associate and have it transferred to your country for investment. If you can be of a sincere assistance to me, please do get back to me for more details. I will give you further details as soon as I hear from you.
Miss Stella Donlad