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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mariam Abdullah" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 15:18:06 +0100
Subject: Kindly read my email carefully and get back to me
With all due respect Sir/Ma, I want you to read my letter with one mind and help me.I am Mariam Abdullah,the only child of late Mr and Mrs Abdullah.My Late father was a very wealthy cocoa dealer in Abidjan,the economic capital of Cote D'Ivoire before he was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outing to discuss on a business deal.My mother died when i was a baby since then my father took me so special because i am motherless.Before the death of my father on 24th December, 2009 in a private hospital here in Abidjan. He secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum of Ten million five hundred thousand united states dollars(US$10,500,000.00) left in a suspense account in a local bank here in abidjan, that he used my name as his only daughter for the Next of Kin in deposit of the funds.
He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates, that i should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where i will transfer this funds to him/her and use it for investment purpose such as real estate agent and so on.Am only 19years old.Dear Sir/Ma, I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways .
1) To provide any bank account where this money would be transfered.
2) To serve as the guardian of this funds.
3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a residential permit for me in your country.
Moreover, Sir/Ma, i am willing to offer you 20 percent of the total sum as compensation for your effort input after the successful transfer of this fund to your nominated account in your country.I want you to help me not because of the 20 percent of my inheritance of USD10,500,000.00 but because of my life to live a better life in your country.
I will be waiting urgently for more details to proceed to receive my inheritance.Hope to hear from you soonest,thanks And GOD Blessing.