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:
- ",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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "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: KAROLINE JAMES <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2010 14:02:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Calling For Help,
Calling For Help,
From karoline james
Hope this mail maeets you well, please permit me to introduce
my self to you, my name is karoline james I am 20 years old, the only daughter
of Late Mr. James Madou who was a famous cocoa merchant based here in Abidjan ,
the Economic capital of Ivory Coast ( Cote D'ivoire). I am seeking for your
assistance to help me transfer the sum of ( $10,500,000.00 ) Ten Million Five
hundred Thousand United State of American Dollars that I inherited from my late
father to your bank account .
I am willing to offer you 35% of the
total fund as a mode of compensation after the transfer for your time and
effort. All the necessary documents concerning this fund is intact. please get
back to me asap for more details concerning this fund and I will equally send
you my photos so that you will see and know whom I am.
If you agree on
this proposal and ready to assist me please indicate by furnising me with your
phone and fax numbers including your full address to enable easy communication
between me and you. Waiting for your cooperation.