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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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: Miriam Gomoh <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 08:42:35 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: From Ms mariam Gomoh,
>From Ms mariam Gomoh,
Cavary Greeting to you in the mighty name of Jesus (Amen).I know this mail will come as suprise to you but in a brief introduction. My name is Ms Mariam Gomoh,I am a citizen of Abidjan Cote D' Ivoire.It is my pleasure communicating with you for the first time and believing that it will lead to a better relationship in investment between us.
I wish to request for your urgent assistance in my investment plans in your base,I wish to invest in manufacturing and real estate management in your base,this is because we inherited an important sum from my late father who died in recent political crisis in Cote d'Ivoire here.Before the death of my father he informed me near his hospital bed at chu- teaching hospital, that he has saved the total sum of ($8.500,000) Eight Million Five hundred thousand united states dollars only, in one of the bank here in cote d Ivoire.
This money was been deposited for my social security and for fruitful international investment.Further directives and details about the deposit and on how to move the fund successfully into your private bank account in your country will be given to you as soon as I get your response
I am ready to part with 10% of the total sum to you for your assistance and also in investing the money.I will give you more detail and forward all vital information as soon as I hear from you.I will also plead for your full contacts details like,
2.Direct Tel/Fax Number
5.A copy Of Your Passport/ID Card
Please kindly forward those contacts informations details of you to me so that i can forward it to the Bank where the money is deposited for the transfer of the of the fund's to your account.
Waiting For Your Urgent Mail,
Mariam And Brother.