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 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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: VIVIAN BENSON <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 16:50:20 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: GREETINGS FROM: MISS VIVIAN BENSON EDWARD
GREETINGS FROM: MISS VIVIAN BENSON EDWARD
ST BRIDGET CATHOLIC CHURCH,
WITH HONOUR,FAITH AND CONFIDENCE IN YOU,I DECIDED TO CONTACT YOU AND REQUEST FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE FOR MUTUALBENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIP. I AM VIVIAN BENSON EDWARD ,THE ONLY DAUGHTER OF LATE MR & MRS BENSON EDWARD,
MY LATE FATHER WHO UNTIL HIS DEATH WAS SPECIAL ADVICER ON POLITICAL-SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC MATTERS TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF COTE D'IVOIRE GUILLAUME SORO.WAS ASSASSINATED IN 2007 THE INCIDENT OCCURED DURING A NATIONAL RECONCILIATION PROGRAMM ORGANISED BY "U.N" AND "A.U" IN BOUAKE TO RESTORE PEACE AND TOTAL RECONSILIATION BETWEEN THE REBELS AND ALL POLITICAL PARTIES IN COTE D'IVOIRE BEFORE THE PRESIDENTIAL ELLECTION.
BEFORE THE DEATH OF MY FATHER IN 2007 HE GIVE ME SOME DOCUMENTS HE USE IN DEPOSITEING THE SUM OF FOUR MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS($4.3M)LEFT WITH FINANCE BANK HERE IN COTE D'IVOIRE.
HE TOLD ME ALSO THAT HE USED MY NAME AS THE ONLYDAUGHTER FOR THE NEXT OF KIN IN DEPOSITING THE FUND. HE ADVISED ME TO SEEK FOR A FOREIGN PARTNER IN A COUNTRY OF MY CHOICE WHERE I WILL TRANSFER THE FUND FOR INVESTMENT PURPOSES.
I AM HUMBLY SEEKING FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THE
1)TO PROVIDE A BANK ACCOUNT INTO WHICH THE MONEY WILL BE TRANSFERRED.
2)TO SERVE AS THE GUARDIAN OF THIS MONEY SINCE I AM 19 YEARS OLD.
3)TO MAKE ARRANGEMENT FOR ME TO COME OVER TO YOUR COUNTRY,SECURE RESIDENTIAL PERMIT FOR ME AND INITIATE THE TYPE OF VIABLE VENTURES TO INVEST.
I AM WILLING TO OFFER YOU 20% OF THE TOTAL MONEY FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO TRANSFER THE FUND IN YOUR NOMINATED BANK ACCOUNT WHILE WE SHALL DISCUSS YOUR PERCENTAGE IN PROFITS THAT ACCRUE FROM EVERY INVESTMENT.
I HEREBY AWAIT FOR YOUR URGENT MAIL AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS PROPOSAL.
MISS VIVIAN BENSON EDWARD.