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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: juliette kouaou <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 10:28:01 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Good Day,
From: Juliette Kouaou
Cocody,Abidjan. Ivory Coast.
ASSISTANCE TO INVEST IN YOUR COUNTRY.
I am Juliette kouaou the only daughter of late Dr Kouaou Daniel of blessed memory, who was the Director General of the Cocoa Export Corporation(C.E.C.) of Ivory Coast and was killed by rebel forces here in Ivory Coast few years ago. As the only daughter of my late father before his death he informed me of the sum of (US$17. 500.000 )Seventeen Million Five Hundered United State Dollars, deposited in my name as next of kin.
Meanwhile I want to travel out of Ivory Coast entirely because of the political crisis here in my country,I want you to assist me move this money from here .
You shall also search for good investment, so that I will invest the money wisely. I have agreed to give you 10% of the total sum and 5% mapped out for expenses. Immediately you receive this message for more information to enable me proceed in earnest towards concluding all arrangements to transfer the fund. No other person knows about this money only you.
If you are interested I will send you the full details,
Awaiting your most urgent response your call.Pls Send your name, your picture, your telephone and your occupation.
Thanks for your co-operation and remain blessed.
Miss Juliette Kouaou.