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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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: SHERMILA MUSA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 09:11:48 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: FROM:SHERMILA MUSA
ABIDJAN, COTE D' IVOIRE.
MY NAME IS SHERMILA MUSA NATIONALITY SIERRA LEONE, I AM FEMALE 19YEARS OLD.
I LOST MY FATHER HE WAS KILLED BY REBEL GROUP OF MR.FODAY SANKOH DRURING THE POLITICAL CRISIS IN MY COUNTRY.MY LATE FATHER WAS FORMER PERSONAL ASSISTANCE TO THE PRESENT MINISTER FOR MINES AND NATURAL RESOURCES IN-CHARGE OF DIAMOND PRODUCTION SALES IN MY COUNTRY SIERRA LEONE.UNFORTUNATELY SOME MONTHS AGO BEFORE THE PEACE PACT IN MY COUNTRY,
MY FATHER AND HIS COLLEAGUES WERE KILLED BY REBEL GROUP OF MR.FODAY SANKOH DURING AN INSPECTION VISIT TO THE RICH DIAMOND MINING AREA IN THE VILLAGE OF IZUMBA,WHERE THE REBELS LAID AN AMBUSH AND OPEN FIRE ON CONVOY KILLED MY FATHER AND SOME OF HIS COLLEAGUES WHO WHERE ON THEIR WAY TO THE DIAMOND MINING ZONE. FOLLOWING THE PACT THAT WAS INTRODUCE BY THE UNITED NATION KEEPING FORCE SOME MONTHS BACK.
I DEEM IT FIT TO SAY THAT IT IS RIGHT TIME FOR ME TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY FOR SAFETY AND FOR USA OR ANY OTHER STABLE ECONOMIC BLOC WITH THE US$ 10,500,000.00 (TEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) DEPOSITED BY MY LATE FATHER IN BANK IN ABIDJAN COTE D'IVOIRE ON MY NAME AS THE ONLY CHILD .INFACT IN A BRIFE INTRODUTION ALL THE INFORMATION WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU WHEN I HEAR FROM YOU.I AM IN COTE D'IVOIRE, SINCE PAST THREE MONTHS. IT IS MY DESIRE TO WRITE FROM MY HEART HOPING THAT YOU WILL NOT BETRAY ME.
NOW I AM SEEKING FOR A TRUSTED PERSON WHO WILL RECEIVE THIS MONEY INTO HIS/HER ACCOUNT FOR ONWARD INVESTMENT. HOWEVER, WHAT I NEEDED FROM YOU IS YOUR GOOD ASSISTANCE IN HELPING ME TRANSFERRING THE SAID MONEY TO YOUR ACCOUNT SINCE I AM INEXPERENCED IN THE WORLD OF BUSINESS, THAT'S THE REASON WHY I AM ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
ALL INFORMATION CONCERNING THE DEPOSIT MAY BE GIVEN TO YOU FOR YOUR VERIFICATION. I REALLY NEED TO MOVE THE FUND OUT FROM HERE. I HAVE DECIEDED TO GIVE YOU 15% OF THE TOTAL SUM FOR YOUR KIND ASSISTANCE. 5% FOR ANY EXPENCESS.
THE WORLD IS FULL OF BAD PEOPLE PLEASE CAN YOU PROVE YOUR GENUITY TO ME FOR ME TO HAVE YOU AS A PARTNER.
SORRY I AM NOT SAYING YOU ARE BAD PERSON BUT CONSIDER THAT THIS IS MONEY AND HOW THE MONEY WAS GOTTEN. IT IS INHERITACE AND MY LAST HOPE. SHOW YOUR INTEREST AND WE PROCEED ON THE NEXT STEP OF ACTION PLEASE EMAIL ME AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS MASSAGE FOR MORE DETAILS