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 state 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found 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: Miss Esther Moses <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2011 03:35:09 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Good Morning Dear,
Good Morning Dear,
I am very delighted to have you by my side. it is the only way I can get to you after going through your profile, considering my present situation in which I found myself into. I am Miss Esther Moses, the only Daughter of late Mr. Moses Igwe. From Ivory Coast, I am an orphan being hereby begging you for your assistance. I lost my mother when I was just 6yrs and since then my father took me so special. But it is sad to say that he also pass away due to some three days sickness.
He was an Agrochemical dealer and also a Fertilizer importer during his days but before his death at the hospital he call me on his bed side and told me that he has an amount of Four million, Five hundred thousand United state dollars,(USD$4,500,000.00) deposited in one of the leading Bank here in ivory coast, so I should look for someone who I will Trust to help me invest this money In any safer place out side Africa who will stand as my guardian over this money so that I can further my education there and also for better investment,
I am just 22years old and a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. So please I am pleading you, if you can help me to transfer this money to your country so that I can join you there to further my education and also for better investment of the money. Please try as much as possible to help me, as you can see , this money is my only hope rest now, and my whole life, so please try as much as possible to help me out of this situation. and I promise you that you will never regret doing this to me. I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded,
Now permit me to ask these few questions,
1. Can you honestly help me from your heart?
2. Can I completely trust you?
3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you after the deposit is delivered to your care?
Please, consider this and get back to me as soon as possible. Immediately I confirm you are willing to help me in earnest, I will furnish you with more details involved in this project.
Waiting to hear from you soon,
Miss Esther Moses.