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:
- "is highly confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "god-fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Charles <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 8:40:52 +0900
Subject: FROM CHARLES
IT IS A PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE TO YOU A BUSINESS THAT WILL MAKE THE BEGINNING OF NEVER-ENDING FAMILY RELATIONSHIP AND I HOPE THIS PROPOSAL WILL NOT BE AN INCONVENIENCE OR EMBARASSEMENT TO YOU.
I AM CHARLES THE ONLY SON OF LATE MR PHILIP WHO WAS A FAMOUS COCOA MERCHANT. MY LATE FATHER OPERATED HIS COCOA BUSINESS IN ABIDJAN-COTE D'IVOIRE UNDER PARTNERSHIP BUT UNFORTUNATELLY HIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATES POISONED HIM IN ORDER TO CLAIM HIS WEALTH IN A COCKTAIL PARTY HELD IN HIS HONOUR AS THE DIRECTOR OF THE COMPANY.WHEN HE WAS POISONED,HE WAS RUSHED TO THE HOSPITAL.
IT WAS IN THE HOSPITAL THAT HE SECRETLY DISCLOSED TO ME THE CAUSE OF THE SICKNESS AND ALSO THAT HE DEPOSITED THE SUM OF $4.8M(FOUR MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS ONLY) IN A SUSPENCE ACCOUNT TO A BANK HERE IN ABIDJAN-COTE D'IVOIRE AND THAT I WAS MADE THE NEXT OF KIN TO INHERIT THE MONEY IN HIS RECORD/FILE.
HE THEREFORE ADVISED ME TO LOOK FOR A RELIABLE,TRUST WORTHY AND GOD-FEARING PERSON WHO WILL ASSIST ME TO TRANSFER THIS FUNDS ABROAD STRICTLY FOR INVESTEMENT PURPOSES.THIS IS BECAUSE HE DIDN'NT WANT HIS ASSOCIATES TO RAISE AN EYEBROW ON HIS FUND.HE ALSO ADVISED ME TO AVOID HIS ASSOCIATES WHO WILL BE RUNNING AFTER MY DEAR LIFE,HE FINALLY DIED IN THE HOSPITAL AFTER TWO DAYS OF ADMISSION.
I AM SOLICITING FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO TRANSFER THE $4.8M INTO YOUR ACCOUNT FOR AN INVESTMENT PURPOSES OVER THERE IN YOUR COUNTRY.I HOPE TO TRAVEL WITH YOU TO YOUR COUNTRY AFTER A SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER OF THIS FUNDS.THE CONTACT OF THE BANK WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU AS SOON AS YOU SHOW YOUR INTEREST AND WILLINGNESS TO ME.YOU CAN NOW INSTRUCT THEM ON WHERE AND HOW THE MONEY WILL BE TRANSFERRED.
I AM OFFERING YOU 10% OF THE TOTAL SUM OF $4.800.000 AS COMMISSION FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO THE TRANSFER OF THIS FUND INTO YOUR COUNTRY.MAY I STRONGLY RE-EMPHASIZE THAT THIS TRANSACTION IS HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL,HITCHFREE AND THIS WILL BE SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDED WITHIN 10 DAYS ACCORDING TO YOUR EFFORTS.
THANKS FOR YOUR ANTICIPATED CO-OPERATION.PLEASE CALL ME AT +22505212947 FOR MORE DETAILS.