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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "% will be for you" (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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- +22547776316 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr.Elijah John <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2009 00:17:17 +0000
Subject: From: Mr.Eze Elijah John
From: Mr.Eze Elijah John
Tel : +225 4777-6316
Abidjan Cote D Ivoire
First of all based on what is going on all over the internet world, people find it very difficult to believe things like this any more.If you can guarantee me from your own side, your trust,honesty, I will be able to work with you.I will appreciate if you can come down here yourself and see things for yourself before we proceed and this will make things clearer for us.
But why I 'm sending you this letter, I think if that situation has a place in the internet world, maybe one from 1000 has a real transaction.
I am Elijah John, a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney/sole executor to the "WILL" of my late client Mr. Richard Gordon,who worked as an independent oil Business magnate in the country, and who died in a car crash with his immediate family on the 5th of Nov. 2004. Since the death of my client,I have written several letters to the embassy with an intent to locate any of his extended relatives who shall be beneficiaries of his abandoned Fund and all such efforts have been to no avail. After the transaction has been accomplished,40% will be for you involved, 10% for miscellaneous expenses and the remaining 50% for me. Please if you feel interested, I crave your indulgence to please contact me through this email address.. As I have said earlier, all I need is your assistance and support so that we can both carry out this project. I decided to contact you so that we can talk and see how we can put heads together and achieve this. On this note, I wish to present you to the finance company, as the surviving relative to my late client so that we can put in claims for payment with your name as the beneficiary of the fund. I will appreciate if you can send me the following.
1.Your Full Names.
2.Your current Mobile telephone and fax numbers(for rapid
5.Your Current address.
This will enable me file necessary documents at our high court probate division for the release of this sum of money in your favour. I intend to invest my own shares in your country,under your management in any viable business venture. I will send you more details as soon as I hear from you.
Mr.Eze Elijah John