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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "transfer into your account" (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 orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: christinakendo <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 05:54:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: From Miss Christina Kendo
>From Miss Christina Kendo
ABidjan Cote D' ivoier
It is my pleasure to inform you of my present situation and humbly ask for your help. My name is Christina Kendo Iâm 23 yrs old the only child of my late parents, my father was a former special adviser on rural development and culture to the Interior Minister in my country before he died.
Â He was murdered with the Interior Minister by the rebels during the recent political crises in my country Bourke Cote D'Ivoire .Â My late father also has a Cocoa farm which was totally burnt by the rebels after he was killed.
Â Before his death he secretly deposited the sum of ($3.5 Million USD) in a Financial Security Firm and inform me that if any thing happened to him I should look for a reliable person to help me invest this fund for my future and make sure I live the country for my safety, he mention this as if he knows that he was going to die.
I hereby seek for your assistance to transfer into your account in your country my heritance fund as a reliable and trustworthy person, and after the transfer of the fund to you I will relocate to your country for the safety of my life, you will also help me invest this fund wisely for my future in your country.
I have lived in the church for so long now just for my safety I still believe that my fatherâs enemies are still after me.Â I will appreciate your positive response to my mail.
I will offer you 30% of the total fund for your assistance.Â I shall give you more details as soon as I hear from you.