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:
- "trunk box" (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 us 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)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Rita Kone <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2012 11:43:15 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Hello My Dear,
Hello My Dear,
I greet you and your family in good faith. I am aware that this is not a formal approach to begin a relationship with you, but as time passes, you will realize the need of my approach. My email is going to come as a surprise since I do not know you in person, but if this message comes to you out of your desire, I'm sorry. I hope you read this message and understand how things can be difficult for someone [me] in a certain period in life due to the tragedy that befalls me as a result of war in my country. I present my self to you with all faith, trust and hope that you will understand in the end.
My name is Rita Kone, 21 years old, the only surviving child of late Mr. Ben. Amah Kone from Douke region, in the Republic of Ivory Coast . My father, before he died, he was the President of Ivory Coast Cocoa Producers and Exporters Union. My father was killed along with my mother and my brother when the rebels attacked my village in the city of Douke during the political war in Ivory Coast . When the rebels attacked my village in Douke, more than hundreds of people were killed by the rebels that included my family, but my father died after seven days in the hospital because he was seriously wounded during the attack. Before his death, my father had planned to purchase and import some cocoa processing machines to develop another factory, unfortunately, he failed in his goal because of the war that broke out in my country which leads to his untimely death. My late father told me in the hospital before he died that he saved the funds in a trunk box which
he deposited for safety keeping in a security company. The total amount is USD10.2M (Ten million two hundred thousand US dollars).
At this time, as an orphan girl and the only survival of my parent, I really need your help to bring this money to your country for investment purposes such as manufacturing and real estate management or other good business investment that we can invest the money, this is the most important reason that I contacted you for help since my security here can not be guaranteed, and I've lost my family and my father's business was burned down during the rebel attack. Right now I'm in great confusion, so please I am asking you to do me a favour by standing as my guardian to receive this money on my behalf. I have suffered so much pain since I lost my family, so I have decided to travel outside the country and invest in your country if you will accept me. Please I will want to know if you can honestly help me as your own relation. I promise to reward you kindly after you assisted me and I come over to your country to live with your family. Please I am expecting
your urgent response as soon as possible.
Thank you and God Almighty bless you,