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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "million us 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)
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Alex Koffi <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 21:18:16 +0000
Subject: My Dearest,
My Dearest, Good day,may the blessings of God be upon you and grant you the wisdom and sympathy to understand my situation and how much I need your help. After going through your profile , l was convinced that you are reputable and a trust worthy person who can help me.
I am contacting you with the hope that you will be of great assistance to me. My name is Alex Koffi, 20 years old boy from Cote D'Ivoire . My father and i escaped from our country at the heat of the civil war after loosing my mother and two of my senior brothers in the war. As a result of the political instability in my country even after the war, my father established his cocoa and coffee export business in my country Abidjan , Ivory Coast.
He was in Burke, A northern city to negotiate for the purchase of a cocoa plantation when he was shot by the rebel troupes fighting to take over the Government of the country. The death of my father has now made me an orphan and thereby exposing me to danger.Before his unfortunate death, my late father called me beside his sick bed and told me as his only surviving son, that he had deposited in one of the prominent bank here in our country the sum of $10million Dollars. with my name as the next of kin.
As a result of the present insecurity of lives and property in this country, I want to relocate to another country because there is no more good securities, no more good universities, no investment opportunities anymore in this Cote d'Ivoire since this rebel, political and civil war started, i hope you heard about the war of Cote d'Ivoire. My reasons for contacting you are listed below :1. I want you to assist me transfer and invest the sum of Ten Million US Dollars ($10,000,000.00) which i inherited from my late father before he died.2. I want you to assist me get university admmission as soon as i arrive to your country after the transfer of the money.3. I want you to be my guardian hence my father is dead.4. I want you to assist me get good accommodation in your country.
I am willing to offer you 15% while 5% has been earmarked for expenses. I will appreciate it if you respond to me as soon as you received my e-mail through this my private e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that we can discuss further on this matter. Thanks and be bless. From Alex Koffi.