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:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Vivian J Yak <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 11:49:00 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: PLEASE DEAREST ONE HELP ME?
I Greet you my dearest one, Please Help Me.
My name is Vivian Justin Yak am 21 years old Girl from Southern Sudan.I want to have a common relationship with you, I need to tell you more things, but first I need your help to Stand for me as a trustee.
My father Dr. Justin Yak Arop was the former Minister for SPLA Affairs and Special Adviser to President Salva Kiir of South Sudan for Decentralization. My father Dr. Justin Yak and my beloved mother including other top Military officers and top government officials where on board when the plane crashed on Friday May 02, 2008. You can bear me witness through the BBC high lite http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7380412.stm
Some months after the death of my beloved parent, my uncle conspired with the family members and sold my father's properties to a Chinese Expatriate. and left me and my two younger one's without any inheritance. On a faithful morning I opened my father's briefcase and i found out some document which my beloved father used and deposit money in a bank in ivory coast, with my name as the next of kin. I have traveled to ivory coast now to withdraw the money so that me and my younger ones can start a better life and i will take care of my younger brother and sister. when i get to the bank, the bank manager of the Bank whom I meet told me that my father's instruction with the bank was that the money will be release to me only when I am married or present a trustee who will help me and invest the money overseas. now the bank manager advice me to provide a trustee who will help me and invest the money or I should wait until when I will get married.
Because of my condition and my little ones i cant wait until i get married that is why I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and I believe that you will not betray my trust when this money will get to Your account. But rather take me as your own sister even your wife so that the bank will transfer the money to you.Though you may wonder why I am so soon revealing myself to you without knowing you well, I will say that my mind convinced me that you are the true person to help me and my beloved brother and sister. Moreover I will like to disclose much to you if you can help us to relocate to your country because my uncle have threaten to assassinate us all because of the documents of this money. The amount is $10 Million united states dollars which I have confirmed from the bank here in Ivory Coast. You will also help me to place the money in a more profitable business venture in your Country so that me and my Junior ones will not suffer in life..
However, you will help me by recommending a nice University in your country so that I can complete my studies and my junior ones will continue in secondary school. It is my intention to compensate you with 30% of the total money for your assistance to me. As soon as I receive your interest in helping us, I will give You more details concerning this money together with the bank contact information so that You can contact them for the transfer. Dear I shall appreciate your urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction sincerely. Please do keep this only to your self. I beg you not to disclose it to any body until we come over to Your country because I am afraid of my wicked uncle who has threatened to kill us all, right now before i traveled down here in this country ivory coast My Junior brother and sister is staying with our church pastor, i told the pastor to take care of them until i am successful in this
I will stop here now and wait to hear from you as soon as you read this message,
Vivian Justin Yak