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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22555109313 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss Dorcas Apima" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2013 16:48:45 -0800
Subject: From Miss Dorcas Apima
Miss Dorcas Apima
My name is Dorcas Apima from Abidjan Ivory Coast and I will be 18 years old on the 22nd of November.My father Mr Wilson Apima died in July 17 2012 after being involved in a motor accident. Before my father died, my mother had earlier died as a result of Diabetes.
Before my father died in the hospital while taking treatment, he told me that there is Five million one hundred thousand united states dollars(US5,100,000.00) he has in a bank here in Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire.
Please i will like to know if you can stand as my guardian by sending to me your name and address which will be what i will be presenting to the bank when i hear from you.Please if you wish to speak with me,i can be reach on this telephone number +225 55109313.
Miss Dorcas Apima