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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Estelle Akam <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2012 16:28:41 +0100 (BST)
Subject: From Estelle Akam
>From Estelle Akam
Cote d' Ivoire.
Greetings to you and all members of your family. I write to seek your assistance for an important proposal that will be of the mutual benefit to both of us. My name is Estelle Akam 20 years old and the only daughter of my late parents. My late father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory coast, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip while my mother died when I was a baby.Before the death of my father on october 2010 he informed me that he has the sum of Seven million,five hundred thousand United States Dollars.
(US$7.500,000.00) which he deposited in a suspense account of one of the leading banks here which he registered my name as his only daughter as the next of Kin. He also informed me that he wanted to transfer the fund overseas to his foreign business partner. He explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates. That I should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this money and use it for investment.Dear, I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways:
1) To claim out the fund from the bank and to provide a bank account into which the money would be transferred to.
2) To serve as a guardian of this fund.
(3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a resident permit in your country.
I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/ input after the successful transfer of this fund into your nominated account overseas. Kindly indicate your interest to assist me as I want this transaction to be concluded within fourteen (14)days. I wait your urgent reply.
Thanks and God bless you.