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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer into your account" (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.
- 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: "Joy Morrison"
Date: 19 Feb 2012 03:57:02 +0000
Subject: Greeting from princess Joy
I am princess Joy Morrison from United kingdom. I am an orphan being that I lost my parent a few months ago. My late father was an administrator performing countries of cocoa exporters Board of Directors until his death.
Meanwhile, i have been a medical student with the BMA since the past 5 years now planing to have my diploma/license as a medical doctor by next two week,that is the most reason i decided to contact you at this stage for assistance in respect of my inheritance claim due to the fact that i can`t handle it my self.
Before his death, he had a foreign account worth seventeen million five hundred thousand euros which he declare to the bank that the funds are for the import of cocoa processing machinery from China to Abidjan/France,and the funds should be deposited in an escrow account until his due period of signed agreement with the china government which was signed years back.
Presently am due to leave the campus and our personal attorney visited me and informed me about all this while was not known to me, also some stolen properties of late parent known and unknown because i don`t trust not even the attorney after reading my inheritance (WILL) i know their are more things he did not disclose to me, meanwhile I want you to do me a favor to receive this funds in a Safe account in your country as my position is well known to be next of kin by the bank management. Presently I have plans to make investment in your countries, such as opening my own clinic, having a large land for charity organization/orphans/ motherless babies.
This is my reason for writing to you. kindly indicate your interest as soon as possible to enable me give you more details about the safety wire transfer into your account and my coming over for your advice and assistant for investment plans.....
Thanks for your understanding, as I anticipate your urgent response to my email address below and also with your telephone number for easy communication.
Please respond to my private Email: email@example.com
Thanks and God bless.
princess Joy Morrison