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:
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: ejiro <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 21:02:08 +0800 (CST)
Subject: FROM SILVIA
Dear beloved one,
l am happy to request for your assistance because i believe that you are not going to betray the trust which i am going to lay on you, hope all is well with you and other members of your family. my name is miss s silvia ejiro, 22 years old and the only daughter of my late parents mr. and mrs. ejiro. my father was a highly reputable contractor engineer who operated in the capital of ivory coast during his days. it is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously during one of his business trips on 4th.november 2010.though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been masterminded by an uncle of his who traveled with him at that time, but god knows the truth!
though i have not meet with you before but i believe, one has to risk confiding in succeed sometimes in life. there is this huge amount of (4 million two hundred thousand) u.s dollars ($4.2m) which my late father mr. ejiro. offor. kept for me in suspense account here in abidjan that i should seek for a foreign partner abroad who will help me to transfer this fund overseas and also travel with you in other to continue my live and education and also to start a business relationship with you and take care of me in the future.
i am just 22 years old and university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. this is because i have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of political crisis here in ivory coast. the death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life, my dear, i am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards and your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded.
now permit me to ask these few questions:
1. can i completely trust you?
2. can you accept me as your own blood sister (or daughter)?
3. what percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you?
4. please reply me at (firstname.lastname@example.org)
consider this and get back to me as soon as possible with your full assurance that you will not disappoint me in this issue so that i can give you the contact of the bank where my late father deposited the fund for you to contact them on how to transfer money into your account. thank you so much for your understanding and may almighty god bless you and your family to the glory of god almighty,
miss silvia ejiro