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:
- 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:
- "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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22565264737 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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: Raymond Gills <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 17:06:49 +0100 (BST)
Subject: i wish to invest my fund with you in your Country,
i wish to invest my fund with you in your company
Country: Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire
Message: Dear Sir,
I wish to invest my fund in your country. I am currently seeking means of expanding and relocating my business due to the war going
on in some cities in Cote D\'Ivoire. So i decided to move my investment to your country for security purpose.
My interest in the following sectors anking, real estate, stock speculation and mining,
transportation,health sector and tobacco thus or any sector.
If you think you have a solid background and idea of making good profit in any of the
mentioned business sectors or any other business in your country;
Please write me for possible business co-operation. More so,
I am ready to facilitate and fund any business that is capable
of generating 20% annual return on investment(AROI).
JV partnership and loan financing can also be considered.
I have the sum of 6,630,000 Euros which i want to invest with you in your country.
For easy conversation you can contact me on
+225 65264737 or you send me an email on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your understanding, i will be looking forward for your co-operation.