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 state 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: fierce1patrick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: fierce1patrick <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 03:57:34 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hello My Dear,
Hello My Dear,
I am Miss. Fierce Patrick the only daughter of my late parents Mr. Elvis Patrick and Mrs. Kathy Patrick. My parents were very wealthy coffee and cocoa farmers here in Ivory Coast and former administrative director and assistance in Agriculture sectors here in Ivory Coast . Unfortunately my mother died in a fatal automobile accident on August 15 1997 alongside with my elder brother Kenneth and my little sister Jane along Yamoussoukro express way. My father was recently killed by his business associates during one of their business meeting in Paris France and autopsy confirmed that he died of alcoholic poisoning.
Before the death of my father on March 2014 in a private hospital here in my country he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of seven million, five hundred thousand united state dollars ($7.5M) left in fixed / suspense account in one of the leading banks here in Ivory Coast, that he used my name as his only daughter for the next of Kin in depositing of the money. He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates in collaboration with our family relatives of out jealousness, greediness and wickedness.
Also before the death of my father he told me that due to the political instability in this country and the consequent harassment and threats from my family relatives and his other enemies that I should humbly seek for a God fearing and a foreigner in a country of my choice where I should transfer this money and use it for investments such as real estate and hotel management.
Please my dear, I am humbly seeking your assistance in the following ways:
(1) To provide a good bank account into which this money would be transferred to
(2) To serve as a guardian of this fund since I am still a girl of only 19 year.
(3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and also to secure a resident permit in your country.
As soon as I receive your urgent reply indicating your interest to assist me to successfully transfer the money into an account in your country, I will give you all the necessary information you may require to proceed towards transferring the money. Finally, I am willing to offer you 20% of the total money as mode of compensation for your effort for assisting me with this humble request as I believe that this transaction would be concluded within seven (7) days you signify your interest to assist me. Please reply me through
Thank you and God bless you.
Anticipating hearing from you urgently.
Thanks and God bless.