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 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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "calvary greetings" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22566769506 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: Seydou Doumba <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 00:59:47 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Calvary Greetings From Seydou.
Calvary Greetings From Seydou.
With due respect, trust and humanity, I wish to contact you for a business venture which I want to establish with you in your country. My name is Seydou Doumba Doumba, 19 years old and the only son of late Dr. Romaric here in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. My father was a Cocoa Merchant and he died as a result of political problems and there is political problem going on again in my country Cote d'Ivoire ( Ivory Coast). Before his death, my father deposited $10.000 000.00(Ten Million US Dollars) with one of the famous Bank here in Abidjan for his business trip. On his sick bed, he instructed me to look for a foreigner who will assist me for an investment overseas.
I have decided to move this fund from my country and to invest this fund in your country for my safety and for the safety of the fund and requiring your assistance in the claims and transfer of the same funds into your personal/company account for investment, I will be glad to give you 40% of the total sum for your kind gesture.
Please it is very important you contact me immediately with details of the business we shall invest this fund. As soon as I hear from you, I will give you the contact of the bank. Please call me and provide me with your full name, address of country, age, occupation and private phone number.
Thanks and remain blessed.