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:
- "million 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)
- "hundred thousand us 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: Rita & Samuel Johnson <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2010 18:35:33 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Greetings from Rita and Samuel
Greetings from Rita and Samuel
How are you today? I know that my letter will meet you as a surprise. I am
Samuel Johnson and my younger sister is Rita I am 17, my mother was an
African American while my father was from the French speaking colony of
Coted'Ivoire, we were living with our mother in Australia before she died.
We lost our mother sometime ago and after her death we came to meet our
father for the very first time in Coted'Ivoire West Africa, though he was
also living with us in Australia before he relocated back to Coted'Ivoire
set up a business.
Exactly two months and one week after we came to meet our father with the
help of the Australian friends and nabours, he died. He was very sick when
we came to meet him. But before his death there were some documents he gave
to us and he told us that everything he worked for in his life time is in
the document, when we crosscheck the document we discovered that my late
father deposited ($9.5 Million dollars) Nine million Five hundred thousand
US dollars. He used my name as his only son as the next of kin when
depositing the money. He also explained to me that it was because of this
wealth that his relatives conspired to poison him. That I should seek for a
foreign partner in any country of my choice where I will transfer this
and use it for investment purposes (such as real estate management, hotel
business and any other good business of your choice).
I am honourably seeking your help and assistance in the following ways.
(1). To provide a bank account where this money would be transferred to
(2) To serve as the guardian of this fund because of our age, I dont have
any business idea and have not been into business for the first time, and
other not to lose this money. To make arrangement for me and my younger
Sister to come over to your country after the money has been transferred to
your account and finally to secure a college for my sister and I to enable
us further our education.
However, we have accepted to offer you 10% of the total sum as compensation
for your help after the successful transfer of this money to your account
overseas. Furthermore, you can indicate your option to assisting us as I
believe that this transaction would be concluded within seven (7) days you
signify your interest to assist us.
Thank you and God bless you.
Rita and Samuel