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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "ABDEL AZIM" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 06:16:36 -0800
Subject: DEAR FRIEND
Hello Good friend,
PLEASE WILL YOU LIKE TO HAVE THIS BUSINESS TRANSACTION.
A WEEK AGO, I WAS CALLED BY PRESIDENT LAURENT GHAGBO OF IVORY COAST TO SOURCE FOR A RELIABLE PERSON OR ORGANIZATION THAT HE CAN ENTRUST SOME AAMOUNT OF MONEY INTO HIS/HER CARE BEFORE HE HAND OVER TO HIS OPPOSITION '' ALASSANE OUATTARA, THE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED ELECTED PRESIDENT OF IVORY COAST.
BECAUSE OF THIS REASON, PRESIDENT LAURENT GHAGBO HAS DECIDED TO DELAY THE HANDING OVER FROM THREE MONTHS NOW.
BELOW SITES ARE FOR YOUR VIEW:
THE PRESIDENT INTENTIONALLY DELAYED HANDING OVER TO ENABLE HIM AND SOME OF HIS CABINET TO LIFT SOME MONEY OUT SIDE THE COUNTRY AS THEY ARE AFRAID THAT THE OPPOSITION MAY PROBED THEIR 10 YEARS OF RULERSHIP.
THE TRANSACTION WILL BE PURELY ON A TOP SECRET AS THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT WANT A THIRD PARTY TO HAVE IDEA OF THIS ARRANAGEMENT.
THEREFORE, IF YOU CAN BE CAPABLE OF HANDLING THIS TRANSACTION, DO LET ME KNOW BY RETURN MAIL.
WE PLEDGED TO DISCHARGE OUR OBLIGATIONS ACCORDINGLY TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE TO PROTECT YOU AND TO MAKE THE TRANSACTION SIMPLE AND HITCH FREE FOR YOU ONCE YOU ACCEPT TO WORK WITH US WITH FULL MAXIMUM CO-OPERATION.
THIS LETTER SHALL SERVE AS OUR GUARANTEE THAT, WE WILL FULFILLED OUR OBLIGATION AS PER INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE BOTH PARTIES ARE PROTECTED AND ALL CONTENTS HEREIN IN THIS LETTER HAS BEEN ISSUED AND VALIDATED BY ALL CONCERNED AUTHORITIES AND SHALL BE RECKONED AS ORIGINAL EVEN WHEN DELIVERED VIA ANY TYPE OF ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION AND IT IS A COMPUTERIZED LETTER AND NEED NO SIGNATURE.
IMPORTANTLY, AS A MATTER OF PROTOCOL AND POLICY, WE CONFIRMED THIS DAY, THAT WE WILL ENSURE THAT YOU ARE BEEN HIGHLY EMPOWERED AND PROTECTED IF YOU AGREE TO WORK WITH US.
FULL DETAILS WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU ONCE I HEAR FROM YOU.
HON. SANUSI ABDEL