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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms Laura Doudou" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 19:33:48 -0000
Subject: AM WAITING FOR YOUR URGENT RESPONSE, PLS DON'T DELETE.()
My name is Ms Laura Doudou the daughter of the Interior Minister Emile Boga Doudou of Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory coast) who was killed in the September 19,2002 mutiny that equally lead to the death of former military junta Robert Guei. You can find on web page. Ivory Coast Rebel Uprising Spreads which is still terorising the country till today.
My mother died just last year due to heart attack. I want you to assist me transfer Nine Million,Five Hundred Thousand US dollars(US$9,500,000)left in a suspense Account in one of the prime banks here in Abidjan by my late father. I am looking for a God fearing person to help me.I want to transfer this money abroad and use it for investment purpose(Real estate) out side this country.
I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways:
1) To serve as my foriegn investor/guardian for transfer to your account.
2) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education
3)To help me invest the money in a profitable ventures in your country. We discuss your percentage later if you are interested.
I wait your kind response,
Ms Laura Doudou.