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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 13:48:49 -0430
Subject: SEEKING FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE
FROM ROSE SIGCAU
ABIDJAN, COTE D' IVOIRE.
DEAR RESPECTFUL ,
MY NAME IS ( ROSE
SIGCAU) NATIONALITY SIERRA LEONE. IAM 25 YEARS OLD,A STUDENT,I STUDIED
MARKETING IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION IN THE UNIVERSITY. I LOST MY FATHER
YEARS BACK HE DIED DURING THE POLITICAL CRISIS IN MY COUNTRY.MY LATE FATHER
WAS ONE OF THE DIRECTORS UNDER TIJAN KABBAH GOVERNMENT. MY MOTHER IS AGED
SHE IS 62 YEARS NOW. I HAVE ONE YOUNGER BROTHER WE ARE ALL LEAVING IN COTE
D'IVOIRE SINCE PAST SIX MONTHS.
IT IS MY DESIRE TO WRITE YOU FROM
MY HEART HOPING THAT YOU WILL NOT BETRAY US. MY FATHER DIVERTED SOME HUGE
AMOUNT OF MONEY WHICH HE DEPOSITED WITH ONE BANK WHEN HE WAS ALIVE. IN FACT
ALL THE RELEVANT DETAILS WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU WHEN I HEAR FROM YOU. THE
MONEY IN QUESTION IS US$27,000,000.00 (TWENTY SEVEN MILLION UNITED STATES
DOLLARS )NOW WE ARE SEEKING FOR A TRUST WORTHY PERSON WHO WILL RECEIVE THIS
MONEY INTO HIS / HER ACCOUNT FOR ONWARD INVESTMENT.
WE NEEDED FROM YOU IS YOUR GOOD ASSISTANCE IN HELPING US TRANSFER THE SAID
SUM TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT SINCE WE ARE INEXPERIENCED IN THE WORLD OF
BUSINESS,ALL DOCUMENTS CONCERNING THIS DEPOSIT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU FOR
YOUR VERIFICATION.I AND MY FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE DECIDED TO OFFER YOU 15% OF
THE TOTAL SUM FOR YOUR GOOD ASSISTANCE.
OUR BEST REGARDS.
SIGCAU ON BEHALF OF THE FAMILY