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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22566342880 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: MECRYHENRY HENRY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 4 May 2010 08:02:18 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: VERY URGENT.
This is Miss Mercy Henry from Trinidad &Tobago. I am writing from the hospital in Ivory Coast, therefore this mail is very urgent as you can see that I am dying critically.
I was told by the doctor that I was poisoned and has got my liver damaged and can only live for some months.
I inherited some money ($2.500 Million) from my late father and I cannot think of anybody trying to kill me apart from my step mother in order to inherit the money, she is an Ivorien by nationality.
I want you to contact my servant with this informations below:
Servant. John Hernanos.
Address: Rue De La Princess L/G 152 Cocody
Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Tel: +225 --663-428--80
He will give you the documents of the money and will direct you to a well known lawyer that I have appointed to help, the lawyer will assist you to change the whole documents of the money to your name to enable the bank transfer the money to you.
This is the favour I need when you have gotten the money from the bank:-
(1) Give 10% of the money to my servant, Mr John as He has been there for me throught my illness and I have promised to support Him in life. I want you to take Him along with you to your country and esterblish Him as your Son.
(2) Use 50% of the money to Charity Organisations and widows
on my name so that my soul will rest in peace. then the remaining 40% is for you.
Note: This should be a code between you and my Servant john in this transaction "Hospital" any mail from him, the barrister he will direct you to, without this code "Hospital" know that it is not from the Barrister, john, the bank or myself as I don't know what will happen to me in the next few hours.
(2) The lawyer's name is Barrister Lambert Adams. And Let John Hernanos send you his international pasport to be sure of whom you are dealing with. john is so little therefore guide him.
If i don't confirm from him as soon as possible i will look for another person or an organisation that will follow the instruction as it is herein.
May God bless you and use you to accomplish my wish.
Pray for me always.
Miss Mercy Henry.
Thank you Holy Father.