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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: kardy james <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 09:05:39 -0800 (PST)
Subject: get back to me for mor details
Rue 15 Paris Village.
Abidjan Cote d Ivoire.
I am writing this letter in confidence believing that if it is the wish of God
for you to help me and my family, God almighty will bless and reward you aboundantly and you would never regreat this. I am a female student from University of Abidjan, Cocody campus. I am 22yrs old. I'did like any person who can be caring, loving and home oriented.I will love to have a long-term relationship with you and to know more about you. I would like to build up a solid foundation with you in time coming if you can be able to help me in this transaction.
Well, my father died earlier five months ago. He was a king (Traditonal King),
which our town citizens titled him over sixteen years before his death.I was a
princess to him and I am the only person who can take care of his wealth now
because my junior brother still very young and my mother is not literate enough to know all my father's wealth.He left the sum of US$3.5 million (Three Million Five hundred thousand United States Dollars) in a Bank here in my country.
This money was annually paid into my late fathers account from Shell petroleum development company (S.P.D.C) and chevron oil company operating in our locality for the compensation of youth and community development in our jurisdiction.
I don't know how and what I will do to invest this money somewhere in abroad, so that my father's kindred will not take over what belongs to my father and our family, which they were planning to do without my present because I am a female as stated by our culture in the town.Now, I urgently need your humble assistance to transfer this money from the Bank into your account . I strongly believe that by the grace of God, you will help me invest this money wisely.
I am ready to offer 10% of the total amount to you if you help us in this transaction and another 10% interest of Annual After Income to you, for handling this transaction for us, which you will strongly have absolute control over.If you can handle this project sincerely and also willing to assist me in transfering this fund, kindly reach me.
Please note that, this transaction is 100% risk free and I hope to commence the transaction as quick as possible.