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:
- "may come to you as a surprise" (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: "Ritta Kennedy." <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:50:23 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Greetings Dear
>From Miss Ritta Kennedy.
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I know this mail may come to you as a surprise, since we have not known or written before.I will start by introducing myself, I am Ritta Kennedy,19 years old the Only Daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Joe Kennedy, my father was a gold and cocoa merchant based in accra, ghana and Abidjan (Ivory Coast), he was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their business trips. before the death of my father on 19th june 2009 in a private hospital here in Abidjan.
His secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum of usd $4.5M ( Four Million Five Hundred Thousand U.s ), deposited in a suspence account in one of the prime bank here in Abidjan Ivory Coast, that he used my name as his only daughter for the next of kin in depositing of the fund.
1) To assist me in retriving this money from the bank.
2) To serve as the guardian of this fund.
3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a residential permit in your country moreover, I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transfer of this fund to your nominated account overseas.
As soon as i hear from you i will give you the details and the contact of the bank.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.
Am waiting your reply immediate and God bless.