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 us 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)
- "your humble assistance" (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: "flora.edward" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 15:56:10 -0800 (PST)
Subject: PRIVATE MESSAGE FROM PRINCESS
Miss Princess Flora EdwardÂ Â Â
Abidjan Cote D'ivoire.
Hi DearestÂ One,
Â PRIVATE MESSAGE FROM PRINCESS
With due respect, trust and humanity, I write to you this proposal which I believe would be of great interest to you. Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you .l must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and sincere business. I am 21 years old
Well, my father was shut died because of this crisis that is gonging on in my country cote Dâivoire now and left me behind. The killed him because he was supporting the other president that is why he was killed.Â pleases life of people are know more save in this country now please you most do something to help as you can l have never in my life wirte this tapey of message please l want someone to take me out of this country now before the find meÂ l need a help from you the are also looking for me to killed me too as am writing to you now my life is not save please help me and save my life my late father was a king, which our town citizens titled him over sixteen years before his death. I was a princess to him and I am the only person who can take care of his wealth now because my mother is also late in two years ago before the death of my late father.
He left the sum of USD 7,500, 000.00 dollars (Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand US
Dollars) in a prime bank in Abidjan.
This money was annually paid into my late fathers account from Gold Exploring companies operating in our locality for the compensation of youth and community development in our jurisdiction. I don't know how and what I will do to invest this money somewhere in abroad, so that my father's kindred will not take over what belongs to my father and our family,
Which they were planning to do without my present because I am a female as stated by our culture in the town. Now, I urgently need your humble assistance to move this money from the bank to your bank account after which i come over to meet with you. And I strongly believe that by the grace of God, you will help me invest this money wisely.
I am ready to pay 30% of the total amount to you if you help me in this transaction and another 10% interest of Annual after I come to you, for handling this transaction for me, which you will strongly have absolute control over it. If you can handle this project sincerely and also willing to assist me in lifting this fund, hoping to hearing from you soonest. May God bless you as you extend your helping hand to a needy fellow?
Â Miss Princess Flora Edward