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 us 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)
- "time is not on my side" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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: E - D- ad <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 23:50:44 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: HELLO, PLS KINDLY GET BACK TO ME,
HELLO, PLS KINDLY GET BACK TO ME,
With warm heart I offer my friendship and greetings, and I hope this mail meets you in good time. However strange or surprising this contact might seem to you as we have not met personally or had any dealings in the past. I humbly ask that you take due consideration of its importance and immense benefit.
I am from Abidjan the economic capital city of Cote D'Ivoire the largest Cocoa producing nation in Africa.
The source through which I got your contact gave me the confidence to contact you for your kind assistance to help us to transfer and secure the US$ 12.5 M (Twelve Million, Five Hundred thousand US Dollars) I inherited from my late father, for investment in your country. My late father was a wealthy Agricultural Business man of Cocoa and Gold here in my country, before his tragic death, he told me about this money and handed me the deposit documents because our mother died many years ago.
I want to invest this money in your country been peaceful with your honest person and kind assistance And with your experience i think you are in a good position to assist me. And to make arrangement for us to come over to your country with my only younger sister to further our education after the transfer of the money to you as our guardian.
I am just 22 years old and university undergraduate with my little sister, and really don't know what to do. This is because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of the political crisis here and the death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life.
Pls Dear, I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly appreciated.
Time is not on my side, We are willing to offer you 20% of the total money for your humble assistance. I will appreciate if you can get in touch with me as soon as you receive this letter so that i can give you more information about myself and my proposal and detail process.
Thanks and God bless, I'm looking forward to hear from you.