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 state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: BLESSING WANUGO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2010 16:55:13 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: APPEAL FOR URGENT ASSISTANCE.
APPEAL FOR URGENT ASSISTANCE.
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you,as I must not hesitate to confide in you on this simple and sincere business .
I am Blessing Wanugo the only surviving daughter of late Mr.and Mrs.Francis Wanugo. My father was a very wealthy cocoa/caffee merchant and in Abidjan , the economic capital of Ivory coast, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip .
My mother died when I was a baby and since then my father took me so special. Before the death of my father on November 2007 in a private hospital here in Abidjan he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of Twelve million five hundred thousand United State Dollars only.USD ($12,500.000) deposited in a fixed / suspense account in one of the local bank here in Abidjan,that he used my name as his only daughter for the next of Kin in depositing the money. He also explained to me that it was because of this money that he was poisoned by his business associates. That I should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer the money and use it for investment purpose such as real estate,hotel management or anyother lucrative investement which I may decide.
I am seeking your assistance in the following area.
(1) To provide a bank account into which the money would be transferred into .
(2) To serve as a guardian of this money until I finish my education.
(3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to assist me secure a resident permit in your country immediately the bank transfers the money into your bank account.
Moreover,I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as your compensation,after the successful transfer of the money into your bank account in your country.
Finaly, I will be waiting to hear from you as soon as possible,which will enable us to proceed immediately with the transfer,because I believe that this project would be concluded within fourteen (14)days you signify interest to assist me. Anticipating to hear from you soon.
Thanks and God bless you.