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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: jennifer johnson <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 17:00:42 +0900
Subject: SAVE MY LIFE!!
SAVE MY LIFE!!
Quite frankly, I know it may have sounded pretty strange for you on why I
Chose to contact you as you are a complete stranger to me and I must tell you
this, I contacted you for the simple reason that we do not know each other.
It would be very difficult for me to contact anybody here who knows me for this
purpose as I may stand the risk and chance of being cheated of my inheritance
because the person would have known my weaknesses. I may even lose my life that
is why I decided to contact you a complete stranger.
My name is Jennifer the only child of my parent. During the post electoral civil
and political crisis in our country last month, my parents were killed by
heartless military that supported the incumbent president that lose election and
refuses to set down. Fortunately for me, I was in the school in Ghana when this
tragedy took place in my family. But I thank the almighty God because I never
knew that I could survive the shock of losing almost my family. Right now I am
still here in the country but very âunsafeâ for me. I'm living in a great fear
and bondage. I intend leaving this country as soon as possible but only one
thing has kept me back. My late father has deposited with one of the prime
financial institution in UAE, the sum amount of money, $7.5Million USD. (SEVEN
MILLION five HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLAR).
The primary reason of contacting you is that my late father had a written
agreement with the financial institution that before I will come for the claim,
I must be above 29years of age or I must present a business partner or business
guarantor to make sure the money will be invested in a very lucrative and safe
way. As I am writing to you, I am just 19yrs of age and life here is so
difficult to cope with. There is no possibility for me to wait until I clock
30years before I go forth for the claim, if I should wait for that it means the
money will be lost as my life is not guaranteed here in Ivory Coast anymore.
>From the light of the above, my instinct tells me that I should trust you to act
as my business partner so that the funds will be released to you on request and
I could move over to your country and both of us have the funds invested in a
good lucrative business area of your choice hence I am interested in real estate
business. I wait to read from you if you accept my request as i promise to give
you more detailed information. Please kindly send me the below information so
that I will submit it to the bank for immediate procession of the transfer.
1. Your Full Name ..................
2.Your Contact Address...........
3. Your Fax and Telephone number .........
4.Your Country of Origin ................
5 .Your Age ............
6.Your occupation ...............
7. Your Email Address...........