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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "million 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)
- "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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: SALI QUATTARA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 21:26:08 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: From Mrs Sali Quattara..................I Need Your Help Please.
From : Mrs Sali Guei ,
Bp 12 Rue Avenue 1023 Marcory ,
Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire .
Dear Respectful one,
I am totally convinced to write you in reference of the transfer of ( USD$ 6.000.000.00 ) to your Account for onward investment (industries) in your country. Though we have not meet before but I strongly believe that one has to confiding in someone to succeed sometimes in life.
There is this amount of Six Million Dollars only (USD $6.000, 000.00) which my late Husband (Late Dr Guei ) deposited in Ecobank Abidjan cote d' ivoire through my Name as the next of kin here for me in a and storage firm here in Abidjan before he was assassinated by some unknown hoodlums in on going political war here .
Because of my cancer together recent political / civil war eructed here, I decided to invest this money in your country or anywhere safe enough outside Africa for security and political reasons.
I want you to help me to transfer this Fund to your country for investment.
If you can be of assistance to me, I will be pleased to offer to you the 40% Of this totally Fund (indicated above).
Further details will be made known to you on confirmation of your interest to assist me .
Will you please email me with this address :- email@example.com
I am waiting to hear your favourable answer.
Thank and God bless you.
Mrs Sali Guei .