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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "demurrage " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "trunk box" (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 orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Confidence Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 05:48:07 -0800 (PST)
Subject: My dear good friend,
My dear good friend,
My name is Confidence Smith I am 20 years old girl. This is a complaining story, and I beg you to be patient and read through to the end. I was adopted in by Mr. Samuel Smith, A successful cocoa farmer in Ivory Coast. Mr. Samuel Smith died as a result of the political crisis in Ivory Coast.
I loved Mr. Samuel Smith for his kindness to me; for taking me out of the motherless baby home and make me his own daughter. He simply adopted me because he had no child on his own. I had no memory of my real parents. Before the death of Mr. Samuel on June 12 2006 he called me on the hospital bed and narrated to me that he has some dollars packed in a trunk box, the total amount is this box are 11.5 million usd.
He made me to understand that this box was deposited in a security company in the capital city Ivory Coast, Abidjan. He also gave me some Authentic Documents regarding the deposited box. These documents indicated that I am the beneficiary of the box. He also made me to understand that the officials of this company do not know the real content of this box; he deposited the box as our family valuables for security reasons. He warned me not to reveal this secret to anyone until I finish my education then I can claim the box and use the money to start living.
Two weeks ago, I received a letter from the private security company. The manager of this company in his letter apologized to me for waiting so long to contact me; information of my father's death simply did not reach him until a chance newspaper publication alerted him of the fact. I was then invited to come forward to their office to claim the box.
But this simple invitation is a very big problem to me because I don't have money to pay for the demurrage charges; Also I don't want to reveal the content of this box to the company because my late father warned me earlier. Even though I claim this box myself, I don't know how I can handle the money because the money is too big for me to handle. If I take the money to bank, especially now that t the country is in a political crisis they bank must question me.
I therefore decided to look for a foreign partner who will help me claim the box from the security company and arrange the shipment of the box to abroad in your country and at the same time assist me to come over to your country to stay with you and continue my education.
I desperately need your help! I need you to contact the Ivory Coast Security Company on my behalf the "CONSIGNEE"; claim the box and arrange to ship the box to your country. Once the box is shipped to you and secured, you will send me ticket and visa to come and meet you in your country.
There is absolutely NO RISK to you; reach me for more introductions.
I am waiting for your response soon.
Miss Confidence Smith.