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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: patrice kone <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2010 14:42:50 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: FROM YOUR SISTER ANNE BATES FROM THE HOSPITAL
FROM YOUR SISTER ANNE BATES FROM THE HOSPITAL
This is Anne from Trinidad &Tobago.I am writing from the hospital in Cote D'Ivoire, therefore this mail is very urgent as you can see that I am going home.
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 ($28.725 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:
Mr Augustin Maranatha.
Address: Rue De La Princess L/G 152 Cocody
Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire.
He will give you the documents of the money and will direct you to a well known lawyer that I have appointed to him, the lawyer will assist you to change the 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 :-
(1) Give 10% of the money to my servant, Mr Augustin 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 my son.
(2) Give 10% of the money to Charity Organisations and Churches on my name so that my soul may rest in peace.
This should be a code between you and Mr Augustin in this transactioin "Hospital" any mail from him, the barrister he will direct you to, without this code "Hospital" is not from the barrister, Augustin, 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 Mc Lambert.And Let Augustin send you his National ID as he has no passport to be sure of whom you are dealing with. Augustin is so little therefore guide him.
I will send you my personal documents when I hear from you And if I don't hear from you I will look for another person.
May God bless you and use you to accomplish my wish.
Pray for me always.
Anne Nanda Bates.
Thank you Holy Father.