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:
- "account in your country or any safer place" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: Helen Duru <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 13:13:29 +0200
Subject: From :Mrs Helen Duru
From :Mrs Helen Duru
Add:43 rue de angree djibi ABIDJAN
COTE D IVOIRE WEST
AFRICA Good Day,
Please, kindly pardon me for any inconvenience this letter may cost you
because I know it may come to you as a surprise as we'have no previous
I got your contact as i was searching for helping hand in your country ,
this is why I decided to appeal to you directly for assistance because I'
have no relations or friends in your country for help I am Mrs Helen Duru
from Ivory Coast.
I am a widow being that I lost my husband a couple of months ago. My
husband was a serving director of the Cocoa exporting board until his death
He was assassinated last january by the rebels following the political
uprising. Before his death he had a fore ign acc ount here in ABIDJAN COTE
D'IVOIRE up to the tune of $6.5M which he told the bank was for the
importation of cocoa processing machine. I want you to do me a favour to
receive this funds to a safe account in your country or any safer place as
the beneficiary .
I have plans to do investment in your country, like real estate and
industrial production. This is my reason for writing to you. Please if you
are willing to assist me and my only son Frank, indicate your interest in
Thanks and best regards .
Mrs Helen Duru