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:
- "00,000.00" (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: LINDA KONA <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 2010 10:20:16 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: From Miss.Linda Kona
>From Miss.Linda Kona
Good day my dear,
In confidence,I have to introduce myself for I am linda kona 22 years old,I am the only child of late Mr and Mrs.Peter kona.I prayed before contacting you,please do not see my mail as embrassment as we do not know each other.
I wish to request for your assistance in my efforts to see the transfer of my inherited money for investment under your care and directive,while I continue my education of there in your country.I inherited Two Million,Six Hundred Thousand Dollars ($2,600,000.00) here in my name with one of the prime bank in my country and I will require your assistance in receiving the transfer of the money in your local account for investment purposes. As it is my desire to come over to your country to further my education while you take care of the investment of the money.
Please I am an orphane and I need your assistance to transfer my inherited money to your country and also your assistance to secure a nice school for me in your country,where I will contiune my education.
I will be very happy if you can return to me with urgent response to enable me hear from you.I am awaiting for your immediate response.
I am hoping to hear from you soonest.