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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Grace Peters <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 15:39:37 +0100 (BST)
Subject: DEAREST ONE
FROM GRACE PETERS
IVORY COAST WEST AFRICA
I AM GRACE PETERS FROM IVORY COAST AND I AM CONTACTING YOU BECAUSE I NEED YOUR HELP IN THE MANAGEMENT OF SUM OF MONEY THAT MY LATE FATHER LEFT FOR ME BEFORE HE DIED.THIS MONEY IS USD 12.8 AMERICAN DOLLARS AND THE MONEY IS IN THE BANK HERE IN ABIDJAN.
MY FATHER WAS A VERY RICH COCOA FARMER AND HE WAS POISONED BY HIS BUSINESS COLLEAGUES AND NOW I WANT YOU TO STAND AS MY GUIDIAN AND APPOINTED BENEFICIARY AND RECEIVE THE MONEY IN YOUR COUNTRY SINCE I AM ONLY 18 YEARS AND WITHOUT MOTHER OR FATHER.
PLEASE I WILL LIKE YOU TO REPLY TO THIS EMAIL SO THAT I WILL TELL YOU ALL THE INFORMATION SO THAT THIS MONEY WILL BE TRANSFERRED TO YOU SO THAT YOU WILL GET ME PAPERS TO TRAVEL TO YOUR COUNTRY TO CONTINUE MY EDUCATION THERE.
HOPING TO RECEIVE YOUR REPLY.
MISS GRACE PETERS.