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:
- "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: CARINE WILLIAMS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 09:37:59 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Good Day Dearest.
Good Day Dearest.
I am Carine Williams a 19 yrs old held up in the war zone of Cote d'Ivoire. I have gone through your profile and it is my pleasure to contact you after much consideration. Though I have not met with you before but I believe one has to risk confiding in succeed sometimes in life and i apologize using this medium to reach you for a business relationship of this magnitude. This is due to confidentiality and prompt access reposed on this medium and please pardon me if I am intruding into your privacy to cause you any enconveniences.
I am the only child of my late parents Mr.and Mrs WILLIAMS. My father was a highly reputable business magnet,a Gold and Agro-Chemical Dealer who operated in the capital of Ivory coast. Before the mysterious death of my father,he deposited the sum of $4.7M in a Fixed suspence Account with a Bank in Abidjan here.Before his death in the hospital,he gave me all the details
regarding to the fund and that he was poisoned because of this wealth. He also told me to seek for a reliable foriegn partner that will help me transfer and invest the fund abroad since the fund is deposited on my name as the next of kin. Finally he issued a written instruction to the bank to transfer the fund to any foriegn partner i willignly choose for the investment of the
fund since i am only 19 yrs old.
Now I have decided to invest these money under your care in your country or anywhere safe enough outside this country for security reasons since this country is no more safe and i am willing to give you 20% of the total fund. As i said,this country is not safe for me so you will help me relocate to
your country to start a new life and also further my studies there while you invest the fund into a good business that will enduring for the benefit of you and myself.
Please feel free to ask any questions expecially on the legitimacy of this fund and I await to hear from you as soon as possible.
Thanks and best regards.