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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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: "Miss Samira Micheal" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 14:56:39 -0500
Subject: Urgent Reply
>From Miss Samira Mariam Micheal
Ivory Coast Abidjan,
Cote d' Ivoire.
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you, my name is Mirian Micheal the daughter of late Mr Raymond Micheal I am 22 years old ,My father was the Director of Gold and Cocoa exportation in Ivory Coast,
Before the death of my father he told me that he deposited sum of (USD $17,000,000.00 Million U.S Dollars ) in a bank in Cote d' Ivoire,
I personally understand that it was because of my late fathers position that he was killed by the anti-government protests and he instructed me to look for a foreign partner who will help me to stand on my behalf and transfer this money out of here and invest it for me, my purpose of contacting you is for you to help me and transfer the money into your account,
I hope you will not betray the trust I have on you because this money is my only hope in life and you will also help me to relocate over to your country to continue my education while you will invest my ownshare of the money for me viably, I will compensate you with 30% of this money for your kind assistance and 5% for any expenses which will be made, because there must be a changing of ownership documents and other valuable documents to be on your name.
The money is an inheritance from my late father which I also secured the deposit documents of the fund with me here in the church where I ran out of rescue.
Samira Mirian Micheal.