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:
- "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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: Miss Zaina Gramera <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 02:33:28 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Dear Respectful one,
Dear Respectful one,
I am writing this letter in confidence believing that if it is the wish of God for you to help me, God almighty will bless and reward you abundantly and you would never regret.
I am 21yrs old. A student from Republic of Cote dâIvoire Abidjan . I am the only child of late Mr.& Mrs.Isaac Gramera. Well, my father died earlier some months ago and left me the only daughter behind.
I am the only person who can take care of his wealth and my mother is not literate enough to know my entire father's wealth. He left the sum of USD 6,400,000.00 (Six Million, Four Hundred Thousand Dollars) in a financial Bank here. This money was annually paid into my late fatherâs account from Shell petroleum development company(SPDC) and chevron oil company operating in our locality for the compensation of youth and community development in our jurisdiction.
I don't know how and what I will do to invest this money somewhere in abroad, so that my father's kindred will not take over what belongs to me, which they were planning to do without my present because I am a female as stated by our culture in the town. Now, I urgently need your humble assistance to move this money from the Bank to your country and I strongly believe that by the grace of God, you will help me invest this money wisely over there.
I am ready to offer 15% of the total amount to you if you help me in this transaction and another 10% interest of Annual after Income to you, for handling this transaction for us, which you will strongly have absolute control over.
If you can handle this project sincerely and also willing to assist me in lifting this money, kindly reach me. Please, note that this transaction is 100% risk free and I hope to commence the transaction as quick as possible, I will send you my picture and also give you more details about this transaction as soon as I hear from you.