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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "familyekuli ekuli" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 09:58:23 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Hello From Miss Alice Ekuli
My name is Miss Alice Ekuli from Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire and I will be 18years by november.I have an inheritance fund of six million four hundred thousand United States dollars (US6, 400,000.00) in a bank here in Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire from my Late father Sir Douglas Ekuli.
Please I need your assistance to get this money transfer and invested in your country on my behalf because the bank said from the agreement my father has with them that i can only claim the money directly when i am upto 25 years or i should present a guardian who will help me in recieving the money for investment purposes in his or her country if am not upto 25 years. Now I am seeking for your assistance to help me transfer out this money from this bank he deposited it to your account so that you can be able to manage and invest it in any good business in your country and also help me to move out from here so that I can continue my education which stopped since my father's death.
Please if you are ready to stand as my guardian for the bank to transfer it to you on my behalf,kindly get back to me immediately for more details.If for any reason you will not be able to assist me on this please write me back so that i can look for another person.attached is my picture and the document my late father gave me concerning the money in the bank.Please i will be hoping to hear from you.Please you should write me back on my private email address which is: email@example.com, or you can call me on this telephone number 00 225 55661461.
From the Little Orphan
Miss Alice Ekuli