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:
- "liberia" (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.
- 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: irene elvis <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 16:23:18 +0000
Subject: IRENE ELVIS
I am sending you this mail with sorrow in my heart hoping that you will help me out in the name of God. Although that we have not met each other before but I believe that a good relationship starts only by one day. my name is IRENE ELVIS am 19 years old GIRL orphan from Liberia but writing you presently from Cote D'Ivoire. I have no relative in this world and I want you to be my guardian.
I decided to contact you to stand by my side to secure the sum of (USD$7.200.000). Seven million two Hundred thousand dollars. I inherited from my late father. My late Father was a Rich Business man based here in Cote dIvoire but he was killed by the rebels in Bouake during the war in Cote dIvoire here.I hope you are aware of the war which has ravaged this country Cote D'Ivoire for the past years now .It was in one of this attacks by the rebels that led to the death of my Parents.
My Father left the sum of (USD$7.200.000. Seven million two hundred thousand dollars. in a bank here before he died.
I urgently need your assistance to transfer this (USD$7.200.000. Seven million two hundred thousand dollars. into your account and also help me to establish a joint investments with you; or you will help me invest the money in a good company.
I promise you that there is no risky issue in this transaction and you will never regret helping me out. I will also like to continue my Education in your country I will wait for your very urgent response so that I can furnish you with all details involved. If you have any question do not hesitate to ask in your reply.
Please do forward the following to me.
1. Your full name.
2. Direct Tel and fax numbers.
3. Home and Office address.
4. Write to my private Email Address:
Please I have prayed before contacting you with the trust in God that you will be of help to me,I am seeking your assistance to transfer this money to your safe bank account for good investment projects in your country.
(1) I want you to serve as a guardian of this fund since i am only 19years old.
(2) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a resident permit in your country.
I am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum for your assistance and this in no way connected with any illegal transaction, please help me to get out of this terrible situation.
you remain bless.