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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- ",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)
- "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: Zaina Ishaaq <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 04:52:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: My dear how are you doing over there today?
My dear how are you doing over there today?
It is my pleasure to introduce myself to you. My name is Zaina Ishaaq; I am an orphan (21 years old). My late father was the Managing Director of a cocoa export company here in Abidjan , Cote d'Ivoire until his untimely death He was poisoned by his business associates while my mother died when I was little.
While my father was alive he deposited some money in a suspense account in a bank here in Abidjan before he died and it is only me that has the knowledge of this. He also made me the next of KIN when he deposited the money in the account.
This is the reason why I am contacting you. I am 21 years old girl as I told you earlier. I just finished my high school and I would like to go into business with this heritage.
I am contacting you so that you can become my business partner by helping me to transfer the money in any account you can nominate in your country. After the successful transfer of the money, I will then move together with you to your country, where we shall invest the money in a viable investment. The sum in question is Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand Euros (â¬5,500,000). I also hope to continue my education in your country from this amount as soon as the money and I gets to your account in your country.
Immediately upon the successful transfer of this money and my subsequent travel to your country, I will compensate you with 15% of the total sum that would be transferred for your kind assistance.Â You will also serve as a guardian of the joint investment ..
Please, I pray you to keep this email confidential for security reasons.
I hope you will understand my plight. I am expecting your kind response as soon as possible.My best and Lovely Regards to you and all your family as you contact me backÂ for more details.
May God bless you mightily!