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:
- "million 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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "liberia" (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: From Rose Kono <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 00:46:39 -0800 (PST)
Subject: In breif introduction.
In breif introduction.
I am Rose Kono 20yrs old Liberia.
I am not completely educated i stop my j.s.s school a year ago; though i am still interested in completing my high education. I can try to make you understand the reason of seeking for your humble assistance in ways of investment in your country. I was born into a wealthy family, things have been going on well before the death of my parents in the year 2010.
Few days before my father's died he confided in me and ordered me to go to his underground safe and move out immediately with a deposit agreement and Cash Receipt he made with a bank in ivoiry Coast where he deposited a sum of $10.5 million dollars with a bank.
According to him this money was made for future investment overseas for his family before his untimely death accured. There after, I was forced to come down to ivoiry Coast with the recommanded documents and confirmed the deposition of the money with the bank as he instructed me.
Based on this informations, i solicit for your good assistance to transfer this fund into your account in your country for good esterblishment.. your reply is urgently needed as it will enable me to establish a stronge relationship with you hence you will consider a profitable business venture in your country.
I accept to offer you 15% percent of the total fund for your good assistance hence you guarranttee me the safety of the money. I would like you to keep this very confidential as i would like to send you the deposit account numbers and the bank contact so that you can contact the bank as our foreign beneficiary who is to receive the money . Death has cost us alot of pain.
Thanks and God bles you ,
Zone 63 villa residence