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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22567356057 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: Lukas Willson <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 07 Oct 2012 00:15:00 +0100
Subject: FROM THE HOSPITAL PLEASE HELP
This is Miss Lukas willson from Trinidad &Tobago.I am writing from the
hospital in Cote D'Ivoire, therefore this mail is very urgent as you
can see that I am dying in the hospital. I was told by the doctor that
I was poisoned and has got my liver damaged and can only live for some
I inherited some money ($2.5 Million) from my late father and I cannot
think of anybody trying to kill me apart from my step mother in order
to inherit the money, she is an Ivorien by nationality.
I want you to contact my servant with this informations below:
Mater Augustin Maranatha.
Address: Rue De La Princess L/G 152 Cocody
Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire.
He will give you the documents of the money and will direct you to a
well known lawyer that I have appointed to him, the lawyer will assist
you to change the documents of the money to your name to enable the
bank transfer the money to you.
This is the favour I need when you have gotten the money :-
(1) Give 10% of the money to my servant, Mr Augustin as he has been
there for me throught my illness and I have promised to support him in
life. I want you to take him along with you to your country and
esterblish him as your son.
(2) Give 10% of the money to Charity Organisations and Churches on my
name so that my soul may rest in peace.
Note;This should be a code between you and Augustin in this
transactioin "Hospital" any mail from him, the barrister he will
direct you to, without this code "Hospital" is not from the barrister,
Augustin, the bank or myself as I don't know what will happen to me in
the next few hours.
(3) the lawyer's name is Mc Lambert Adams. And Let Augustin send you
his National ID or his passport to be sure of whom you are dealing
with. Augustin is so little therefore guide him.
May God bless you and use you to accomplish my wish.
Pray for me always.
Lukas Nanda Willson.