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: DAVID SMITH <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 12:32:20 -0400
Subject: FROM DAVID SMITH
FROM DAVID SMITH
Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire
Good day to you. I am David Smith Marumea the Son of the late
assassinated senator in Zimbabwe i saw your impressive profile on the
internet and after much prayers, I was moved to contact you believing that
you can be relied on to handle a very important business transaction on
behalf of my family.
but presently I am in Abidjan, capital city of Ivory Coast in West Africa
, for the past sum months now. My mother Mrs Tabitha Marume, was shot and
killed by soldiers at Chiwetu Rest Camp, Percy Muchiwa, for more
verification, here is the web site
I want you to assist me withdraw and transfer my dad money the sum of
(US$10.5M) which he deposited in one of the prime bank based here in Cote
d'Ivoire into your account in your country and also take me out of here
that had made me orphan. Why I contacted you was that I went to the bank
to withdraw this money since my late father use my name as the next of kin
to the deposit but I was told by the bank that my late father made an
agreement with them that I have to get to the age of 25years before I can
make claim of the money or alternatively I should provide a guardian who
can make the claim on my behalf and that was why I contacted you. I humbly
need your assistance in the following ways:
1) To help get this money transferred to you.
2) To serve as the guardian and foreign beneficiary of the deposited money
3) To make an arrangement for me to come over after this money is transferred.
4) To look for a good venture where the money will be invested.
I am ready to compensate you for your effort in assisting me.