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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mariam Ede <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 17:34:29 +0100 (BST)
Subject: From Miss Mariam Ede
>From Miss Mariam Ede
Abidjan- Cote D' Iviore
Good a thing to write you. I have a proposal for you-this however is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honour against your will.Your profile pushed me to send you this mail,I am Mariam Ede 19 years old and the only Daugther of my late parents Mr.and Mrs.Ede. My father was a highly reputable business magnet-(a cocoa merchant)who operated in the capital of Ivory coast during his days.
It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad.Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been masterminded by an uncle of his who travelled with him at that time.But God knows
My mother died when I was just 4 years old,and since then my father took me so special. Before his death he called the secretary who accompanied him to the hospital and told him that he has the sum of Ten million,seven hundred thousand United
State Dollars.(USD$10.700,000) Deposited in one of the leading Security Company here in Abidjan Ivory coast West Africa. The security company, nor anyone doesn't know the real content of the box deposited in their custody. My late father declared the box as family treasure for security reasons as well as to safe guide the fund.Please keep this very confidentail and never let anyone else know about it.
He further told me that he deposited the money in my name,I am just 19 years old and a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do.This is because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of incessant political crisis here in
Ivory coast.The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life.
ear,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 as your Sister?
2. Can I completely trust you?
3. What percentage of the total amount in question will
be good for you after the money is in your account?
Please,Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible.
Thank you so much and may God bless you.
Miss Mariam Ede.