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 american 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)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: From Vivian Coulibaly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 11:55:45 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Please I Need Your Support
From Post Box 4632
Avn 7 Rue 14 Zone 4
Abidjan Ivory Cost
Dear, I am sorry to come to you in this way, but I did to choose you because of the on going problem in my country. My name is Vivian Coulibaly; I am 21 years old girl and a student. I am the only surviving child and daughter to late Mr& Mrs Bright Hyman Coulibaly. A Nationality of Cote Divoire.
My father was a wealthy business man, and the owner of BRISCO CAR DEALERS LTD in the city of Abidjan, also he was a politician before he was poisoned by the enemies of progress and he fall into deep sickness that lead him to death, His death was very painful to me because My mother died when I was just 6 years old, And since my mother died my father took me so special because I am motherless.
When my father was at the point of death at Christ the King hospital Abidjan he secretly called me on his Bed side and told me that he has a fund ($10.000.000.00, Ten Million American Dollars) which he deposited in a Government bank here in Abidjan, that he used my name as his only Daughter and the person who will inherit the deposit fund in case if he is no more.
He also explained to me that it was because of all his wealth that he was poisoned, He continued to tell me that in case if he die, that i should not stay in this country that i should seek for a foreign partner in any country of my choice who will help and stand behind me to claim out the money from the bank and transfer the fund into his or her account then after the transfer i will travel to meet with the person and use the money for investment purpose and also further my education over there in your country.
My dear this is why I contacted you with hope that you will not find it difficult to give me your full support even in this time that my country is in big problem. You can read about my country on BBC. Dear with due respect I need your humble assistance in following ways,
1) To assist me in claiming this money from the bank to your own account,
2) To be my guardian and receive the money in your account and to invest it for me in a lucrative business since am still a young student,
3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a citizenship permit in your country.
Moreover I am willing to give you 40% of the total money as compensation for all your effort and input supports after the successful transfer of this money to your account. As I said above you will also help me to invest my own share into a good business so that I will not suffer in future. Immediately I hear from you concerning my request. I will forward to you all the necessary information's concerning this deposit Fund, with the bank contact address so that you will contact the bank and send them your account details for the transfer of the money to your account.
I will stop here now and wait to hear from you soon.
Thanks and God bless you as you bring out your heart willingly to help me out.
My Love and best regards to you.