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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "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: Erinna Willan <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2012 11:24:42 +0100 (BST)
Hope this mail meets you well, how is your family that are very important to me?please permit me to introduce my self to you, my name is Erinna Willan,I am 19 years girl, the only child of my Late father Mr.George Willan, who was a famous cocoa merchant based here in Abidjan,the Economic capital of Ivory Coast( Cote D'ivoire).
I need your assistant to relocation and transferring of my inheritance to you, So that i can come to where you are, continue my education,set up an investment & be living peacefully. The amount is ( $10,500,000.00 ) Ten Million Five hundred Thousand United State of American Dollars that I inherited from my late father to your bank account.
It was my uncle and my late father business associate that plotted the death of my father,he told me before his death and my mother was late since when I was a baby while am the only child of my parent.I am willing to offer you 15% of the total money as a mode of compensation after the transfer for your time and effort.
If ready to assist me from this scenario please reply me with your direct contact information so that I will tell you more details of my intention and give explanation.
Thanks in advance