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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Rose Aruna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 03:44:16 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: My Dear Greetings to you,
My Dear Greetings to you,
I know you will be surprise to receive my mail since we have neither seen nor met before. Well, let me start by first introducing myself to you. My name is Rose 20 yrs old, the only daugther to Late Mr George Aruna. who was a famous cocoa merchant based here in Abidjan, the Economic capital of Ivory Coast ( Cote D'ivoire). My father was assassinated on his way to his office and ever since the sudden death of my beloved father I have been leaving in terrible fear, couple with the political crisis here in my country. I am planing to travel out of the country, that is why I have decided to contact you to help me contact the bank for the transfer of the money my father deposited the sum of $6.5 million US dollar in a bank here before his sudden death. I will give you more informations as soon as you guarranttee me that you will treat me honestly during the investment of this money in your country.
Dear, as you can see this money is my hope of survival and I am entrusting this money on you with faith and believe that you will treat me in good faith during my stay in your country.
I will like you to also assure me that you will honestly manage this money for me in the business which the money will be invested into, as soon as you give me this guranttee I will then give you all the neccessary details concerning this money which will enable you contact the bank on my behalf. I shall send you the document the bank issue to my late father when he made the deposit in the bank and my picture for you to see me and I will also like you to send me your picture for more trust and confidence.
I am willing to offer you 20% percent out of the total Fund, as a mode of compensation after the transfer, for your time and effort.
Thanks and God bless you for your kindness to assist an orphan like me. Please your urgent reply is needed.
Miss Rose Aruna.