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:
- "there are practically no risks involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Evans Coulibaly" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 12:40:07 -0000
Subject: Re: From Evans Coulibaly
I am requesting your assistance to partnership with me for investment in your country, if you can assure me safety and trust of the funds as it enters your country. I respectfully appreciate your time to go through this proposal. My name is Evans Coulibaly from Cote D' Ivoire, Ivory Coast. I discovered your contact through comprehensive web email search on directory so I decided to contact you. I know this might sound like scam to you because of the activities going on in the internet today. But I assure you that this is not a joke and I know you are capable to handle this project. So I write you this letter in good faith as it pleases you.
Hence, I have a Transaction of Twenty Eight Million Great Britain Pounds: (28,000.000.00) in a bank for safe keeping for Investment purpose. So I need a foreign trusted person who will help me to receive this funds in your country for investment into any lucrative business to generate more revenue. After the transfer, I will give you 30% of the money as your commission.
If you accept my offer, but if you do not accept this offer kindly forget that I contacted you, all I need is for you to get a good current account where this fund can be transferred into and for you to stand as my Foreign partner to receive the said amount; within three days the funds will be transferred to your designated bank account.
There are practically no risks involved; it will be a bank-to-bank transfer. I hope you understand my situation, I am critically ill that is why I contacted you to finalize this transaction to enable me have a very good treatment.
Absolutely, I am writing to seek your assistance as a faithful person to stand and accept to receive this money in your country as my partner and my co-beneficiary of this funds. If this request matches with your inward intention for success and greatness, then you are urged to make a quick response indicating your interest and readiness to participate and work with me to make this successful.
I am waiting to hear from you.
Mr. Evans Coulibaly.