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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found 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: Chantal Akissi <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2012 17:14:39 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Read carefully please.
I am Miss Chantal Akissi, 20yrs old and single, I am the only daughter of (Late) Mr. Koffi Akissi, who was gold Meteorite Dealer in Cote d' Ivoire. My mother died when she was given birth to me and this made my father to love and cherish me so much, promising to take very good care of me until the day i will marry. But everything changed due to his sudden death during the recent political crisis in our country Cote d' Ivoire. All my joy, dream turns to sorrow, immediately after his death.
Meanwhile before the painful death of my father he deposited US$3,500.000 (Three Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) in a suspense account in a bank here in Cote d' Ivoire and I have the original deposit certificate of this fund. i wanted to wait until i am 25 years of old as the law of our country is, a child must be 25 years old before standing on his/her own but due to the maltreat and treats i am receiving from the hands of my relative i decided to contact you for you to help me out in leaving this country and come over to your country and start a better life over there.
I was maltreated and turned to a slave by the my uncle after my father was killed. I have to run away to the neighboring city in our country where i am managing my life and praying to Lord to provide me someone who can help me receive the money my father deposited in the bank and help me invest it into a good business abroad. Right Now i am in one of the local hotel here in my country from where I am communicating to you now.
Please I want you to help me transfer the money to your bank account, and you will also help me to come over to your country and continue my education while you will help me invest the money in your country.
I will appreciate your quick response as I need urgent attention on this matter because i am facing difficulties in the local hotel here and i have no one as trusted relative and i have no source of income.
Lastly, I am ready to comply with whatever percentages you will ask from me as soon as the fund is release to you, I will appreciate your immediate reply and help.
Thanks and waiting to hear from you for more details and my photo.