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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Catherine koffi <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 20:23:11 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Dearest One
From Miss Catherine Koffi
Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire
I am Catherine Koffi the only daughter of Mr& Mrs William Koffi, It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriouslyof my parent in France during one of his business trips abroad year 25th.Febuary 2008.Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been master minded by an uncle of his, who travelled with him at that time. But God knows the truth. My mother died when I was just 6 years old,and since then my father took me so special.
Before his death on Febuary 25 2008 he called the secretary who accompanied him to the hospital and told him that he has the sum of Sixten million,seven hundred thousand United State Dollars.(USD$16.700,000) left in a security company inside two metalic box. He further told him that he deposited the money in my name,and finally issued a written instruction to his lawyer whom he said is in possession of all thenecessary but legal documents to this fund under the security company.
Note that the security company where my late Father made the deposit does not know that the consignment depositing under their custody contains money my late father declare the content to the security company as containing family valuables for security reasons.
I am just 19 years old and an university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. Now I need an overseas account where I can transfer this funds and after the transaction i will come and live with you and i'm ready to do anything of your choice. This is because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of incessant political crisis here in Ivory coast.
The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life and i wished to investe under your care please. I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards.Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. Now permit me to ask these few questions:
1. Can you honestly help me?
2. Can I completely trust you? .
What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you after the money is in your account while i finalise my education. Please,Consider this
and get back to me as soon as possible.
Miss Catherine Koffi.