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:
- "you will be entitled to 30%" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Felix Olala" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 20:24:02 -0800
Subject: Urgent response required
My name is Dr. Felix Olala, I am a close associate to Mrs Simone Gbagbo, the wife of President Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d'Ivoire.
Over the years, I helped her move out funds for lodgement in so many countries waiting for further instructions from her but due to the problem that arose because of the prsent political situation in Cote d'voire, the Eu has threatened to seize all funds belonging to Laurent Gbagbo and his allies because he has refused to cede power so I was advised as a matter of urgency to look for a reliable partner to work with in receiving the funds for safe keeping.
I want to transfer the sum of 15,675,000 Euros(Fifteen million six hundred and seventy five thousand Euros). You will be entitled to 30% for your assistance. If you can handle this, reach me with your name, address and telephone so that I can furnish you with the details.
Dr Felix Olala