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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "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: "lisa.david" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2012 01:26:11 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Hello Dear
>From Miss Lisa David,
Rue deGabon Abidjan 01,
I am writing to seek your partnership in the investment of my
inheritance fund USD$7.5M from my late father who died mysteriously last
Dec. It was very evident that he was poisoned to death. In my culture,
when a man dies, if he does not have a male child, the brothers shares
his property leaving both the wife and the daughters empty handed
including the house they live in. This is the exact case with me as I am
the only daughter of my father. I lost my mother when I was barely a
year old and my father refused to re-marry another wife because he felt
solely responsible for my mother's death. This is so because he
concentrated much on his businesses that he rarely pays attention to
domestic affairs. He was always travelling taking care of his businesses
that he did not notice when my mother took ill He thought it was a
minor illness and was ignorant of this.
My mother on her own resorted to self-medication. It was not until the
illness degenerated that my father took my mother to hospital where she
was diagnosed to find out that hypatitis had eaten deep into her blood
stream. She didn't last long before she died. This happened when I was
barely a year old. Based on this, my father could not forgive himself
easily because of it and said he was responsible for her death as he
could have saved her if only he had paid attention to the things at home
rather than concentrating much on his businesses.Despite all entreaties
by friends and relatives, he refused to remarry but ensured that I had
everything that I wanted. It was as a result of this that yhe made me
the next of kin to his fund deposit with the bank and stated that in the
event of any eventuality, I should have a direct access to the fund
only when I am 24 years of age otherwise, I should have a
guardian/partner intercede on my behalf for the release of the funds to
me. Unfortunately, he died late last year and I am 21 years of age
currently. This is why I have contacted you to serve as a guardian to me
and as my foreign partner for the investment of the fund overseas.
My uncles does not know about the fund because they had already taken my
father's houses and other properties because I am a girl and they said I
do not have rights for any property. They have requested to have my
father's bank papers but I simply told them that I do not know where he
kept them. The younger brother took the house in the village while the
houses in the town were sold out they shared the proceed they got from
the sale. Right now, I am with a friend of mine and do sincerely want to
travel out of my country.
This can only happen when I have secured the release and transfer of the
funds in the bank. This why it is important that we have a plan on the
type of lucrative business that we can invest the funds on.
I had at various times had discussions with the director of
international remittance unit of the bank where my father deposited the
funds and I was assured that once, I have someone who would be willing
to receive the funds on my behalf, they shall commence all proceedings
to effect the release and transfer of the funds into the person's
designated account. Now that you have signified your interest to partner
it would only be very necessary if you contact the bank and request for
the release and transfer of my inheritance fund into your nominated
account for the purpose of investment and to further have me come over
to your country to continue with my studies.
I shall be giving you the bank's contact details as soon as I hear back
from you so that you will go ahead and contact the bank. Here are my
Talk to you the more.
God Bless you