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:
- "trunk box" (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)
- "million 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 "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Mariam Ali <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 19:40:52 +0000
Subject: Assalamu Alaikum
Assalamu Alaikum Dear Thank you for your fast respond to my email I am Mrs Mariam Ali from Abidjan the capital of ivory coast. I am married to Late Mr Ali of blessed memory who was a well known cocoa dealer in Abidjan for through out his life before he died in the year 2009. we where married for 11 years withoit a child. Before his surden death we where devoted muslims When my late husband was alive he packaged the sum of 1.Million dollars (1.000.000.00 usd ) in a hard metal trunk box and deposited it with one of the Security Company here in my country . As a result of high rate of conflate going on in this country as of then, Presently this money is still with the Security Company in my country and i am very sick from cancer fibroid and tumor that i may not last till the next two months according to my doctor so i want to donate to a muslims organisation or individual who will use it to work for Allah and i have chose you after going through your profile. I want this money to be sheard amont the next privillaged since i do not have a child to inherit it and my late husband relatives are all Non-belivers and i don't want my husbands heard earn money to be used by unbelivers. Hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I know that after death I will be with Allah the most holy and the most merciful. It is a very important confidential massage that i will like to tell you more about it so get intouch with me so that i can fully detail you what i choose you for and as well give you a little knowladge on how to achive it. Any delay in your respond will give me room to seek for another moslims organisation or individual for this same pupose. Until i hear from you my dreams lay suquestly on your shouldersi am waiting to read from you soon. Your Sister In AllahMrs Mariam