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:
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Debora Saoua <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 05:51:35 -0800 (PST)
Subject: GOOD DAY
Dear One, I am writing this mail with due confident and trust that you will give it a desired attention.I am Debora Saoua 22 years of age,the only daughter of late Mr and mrs Patrick Saoua.My father was a well known very rich Cocoa merchant based in Abidjan(Coted'ivoire) and Ghana. Unfortunately,my father was poisoned by his business associates on one of their outings to discuss about business,they poisoned him because of his wealth and high rate of his annual turn-over on the exports he made to America and Europe. Before my father died,he called me besides his sick bed and told me that it was because of his success and wealth that he was poisoned by his business colleagues and that as I am still a young girl who has lost her mother since 1998 that he doesn't want me to surfer much if anything should happen to him,that he had instructed the bank were he deposited the sum of $7.400.000 (Seven Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars) to
transfer the money to a foreign partner's account which I shall nominate as the next of kin,that such a person should be my guidance and will assist me to invest the money in a real estate business in his or her country and will also assist me to come over to his country and continue my education. Dear one,the main motive of contacting you now is to know if you will be interested and capable to assist me to transfer the money to your account and also help me to invest the money in a lucrative business and in addition assist me to come over to your country and continue my education.I will offer you 15% of the total money as compensation for your assistance.This transaction is genuine and risk free since I am the next of kin to the deposited money.This transaction shall be completed in less than one week if you are capable to assist.I am waiting to hear from you soon. Yours SincerelyDebora Saoua