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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Rita Okoin <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 02:50:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: From: Miss Rita Okoin,Please help me out I am an orphan.
From: Miss Rita Okoin
Add: 7 rue St. Bernard, Gonzac,
Abidjan, REPUBLIC OF COTE D'IVOIRE.
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I got your contact from the International web site directory. I prayed over it and selected your name among other names due to what my mind told me to me that you are a reputable and trust worthy person I can expose my ordeal to and do business with. So I must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and sincere business.
I am Miss Rita Okoin , the only Daughter of late Mr and Mrs Raphael Okoin My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast, before he was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outing to discus on a business deal.
When my mother died on the 6th August 1998, my father took me special because I am the only child A motherless. Before the death of my father on 30th June 2009 in a private hospital here in Abidjan, he secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum of $22.500.000 (Twenty Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) left in a suspense account in a Bank in Swisserland, that he used my name as his only Daughter for the next of kin in deposit of the fund.
He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth and some huge amount of money his business associates supposed to balance him from the deal they had, that he was poisoned by his business associates, that I should seek for a God fearing foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this money and use it for investment purpose, (such as real estate management). Please, I honourably seek your assistance in the following ways.
1) To receive the money for me in your account by providing a Bank
Account where this money would be transferred to.
2) To serve as the guardian of this since I am a girl of 19 years and I
do not have business experience.
3) To help me and come over to your country as soon as the money is
transferred to your account so that I will continue our education and a new life.
I am willing to offer you 25% of the sum as compensation for effort input
after the successful transfer of this fund to your designate account overseas.
Anticipating hear from you as soon as possible please.
Thanks and God Bless.
Miss Rita Okoin