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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: lisabedard <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 15:05:30 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Good day and how are you?
Good day and how are you?
My name is Miss Lisa Bedard am 21 years old Girl from Southern sudan.I want to have a common relationship with you, I need to tell you more things, but first I need your help to Stand for me as a trustee.
My father Dr. Bedard Micheal was the former Minister for SPLA Affairs and Special Adviser to President Salva Kiir of South Sudan for Decentralization. My father Dr.Bedard Micheal, my mother including other top Military officers and top government officials where on board when the plane crashed on Friday May 02, 2008.
Some months after the burial of my father, my uncle conspired with my step mother and sold my father's properties to a Chinese Expatriate. On a faithful morning I opened my father's briefcase and found out document which my beloved late father used and deposit money in a bank in ivory coast , with my name as the next of kin. I travelled to ivory coast to withdraw the money so that I can start a better life and take care of myself. The Branch manager of the Bank whom I met in person told me that my present status does not permit me by the local law to clear money or make a transfer of money into an account, he advice me to provide a trustee who will help me and invest the money or I should wait till when I will get married it demand by their Authority........
I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and I believe that you will not betray my trust. But rather take me as your own person and help me. Though you may wonder why I am so soon revealing myself to you without knowing you, well, I will say that my mind convinced me that you are the true person to help me. More so, I will like to disclose much to you if you can help me to relocate to your country because my uncle has threatened to assassinate me. The amount is $5.5Million and I have confirmed from the bank here in ivory coast . You will also help me to place the money in a more profitable business venture in your Country.
However, you will help by recommending a nice University in your country so that I can complete my studies. It is my intention to compensate you with 15% of the total money for your services and the balance shall be my capital in your establishment As soon as I receive your interest in helping me.
I will put things into action immediately. In the light of the above, I shall appreciate an urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction sincerely. Please do keep this only to your self. I beg you not to disclose it till i come over because I am afraid of my wicked uncle who has threatened to kill me.
Miss Lisa Bedard.