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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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 orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ekenna Kojowa" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 02:36:43 +0100
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam(Attention Needed Urgent)
It might sound strange considering the fact that we do not know each other. I honestly do not wish to obtain a help on condition or to oblige you to help me for unspecified reason. It is not obligatory for you to help me, but if it is the wish of God that you help me to solve my problem, I will forever remain grateful to you and God will bless you abundantly.
I am Elenna Kojowa a 20yrs old daughter of Late Mr. Jamora Kojowa. I live in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Western Africa. My father was an Exporter in the trade of the coffee and cocoa in the economic capital of the Ivory Coast. He was assassinated by unknown persons (Armed Rebels) in the family home in 2010. After the presidential election of 28th November 2010, there have been numerous silent killings of prominent individuals and political party loyalists by unknown gunmen especially killings of 800 villager in Duekoue. You must have been aware of the political situation in my country Ivory Coast since the 2010 Presidential election which resulted to killings of more than 200 prominent politicians and business magnates.
However, before the death of my father, he explained to me that he deposited the sum of two Million three Hundred thousand United States dollars (US$2.3M) in a Bank in Europe and named me the beneficiary/next of kin to the deposit. Now that he is dead, I have decided to invest the money in your country or anywhere outside Africa for political and safety reasons.
I seek your humble understanding and wisdom, to help me to transfer this money into your account or any account you would set up in your country for the purpose of investment while I shall come over to meet you and continue my education. I require of you this help with all my heart and wish to receive your sincere response, and that you tell me the possibility of helping me to regulate my problem with your sincerity and your honesty. You will be entitled to 15% of the total amount as compensation for your assistance in this project.
I am waiting to hear from you with the positive offer of your assistance so that I will give you more details. Please consider this and give me an honest and sincere answer.
God bless you.