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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: JOY KEITA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2010 20:44:34 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: From Mrs joykeita
>From Mrs joykeita
knewl Avenue 15,rue 12
Lot 1225,Deux Plateau
It's my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which I and my Son Ben intend to establish in your country,Though I have not met with you before but I believe one has to risk, confiding in someone to
succeed sometimes in life.
There is this huge amount of money Eigtheen million U.S dollars($18,000,000..00) which my late Husband Mr.Edwards Nareli kept for us in a Bank there in Abidjan before he was assasinated by unknown persons.Now my son and I decieded to invest these money in your country or anywhere safe enough outside Africa for security purposes.We want you to help us to transfer this fund to your country for investment purposes on the followings below:
2). International School
3). Five star hotel
If you can be of an assistance to us we will be pleased to offer to you 10% Of the total fund.
I await your soonest response.
Extend my warmest regards to your entire family.
Thank you and God bless you.