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:
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mustafa Ali <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 19:36:24 +0000 (GMT)
May the almighty Allah be with you as you are reading this message my greetings to you, I know you might be surprised to receive this message being that we have not met for the first time. Please accept my apology if you find this mail offensive. I am Mustafa Ali the only son of Mr Ahmed Ali from Cote d'Ivoire also called Ivory Coast in west Africa.
My late father was born and brought up in a Christian, but turned to Muslim after discovered the truth of Islamic religion. He married my mother because my mother came from a good Muslim family. Ever since my father turned to Muslim and married a Muslim woman his family disowned him because he turned to Muslim and married a Muslim woman.
Here in my country, my father was a successful business man. My late mother died after a brief illness which we suspected to be poison from the family of my father. In the year 2006, my father was poisoned to death by his brother over their land dispute living only me behind in sorrow .After the death of my father my uncle collected all my father's properties and took charge of my father's investments.
The most painful part of it is that he stopped me from going to school just because I refused to turn to Christian. One day when I was praying my uncle came and ceased my Koran and burn all my cloths and gave me a very big injury because he has warned me not to pray in his house again. Since that day, I ran away from his house and ran to a another state because he want to force me to turn to Christian and enter bible school.
My dear good brothers and sisters in Islam I am seriously in need of your help because my wicked uncle is still tracing me just because he want me join Christian and I refused that is the reason he is after my life to kill me to claim the money that my late father deposited for my future for his family. That is the reason I need your urgent help to save my life.
Please I want you to help me retrieve the money that my late father deposited in bank the sum (10,500.000US) Ten million five hundred thousand Us Dollar here in Cote d'Ivoire my country for my up-keep. And also for you to help me move over to your country because my life is in danger my wicked uncle is after my life to collect this money from me. With your help I can complete my education because I am still a small boy. Over there in your country you will be my gurdian and also help me invest the money in your country.
I have decided in my life to die than to join Christian religion. For your effort and love for me I am willing to give you 10% of the moneyafter successful transfer of the money into your account or you can suggest any percentage you will take for you to help me out with all your heart. May the Almighty Allah bless you as you are willing to help your fellow Muslim brother in sorrow.
My greatest worry now is how to move out of this country because my uncle is threatening to kill me as he killed my parents. Please Dear I beg you to do something very fast to save my life. I am waiting for your urgent response because my wicked uncle is after my life and after the money which is my only hope in this life.
Please don't reply me if you are not a good muslim.
Your brother in Islam,