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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Heidrun_Witte <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 09:40:47 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU
Greeting's my dear,
I hope that you are in good health and God is always watching you and to take care of you and your Family.My name is Heidrun Witte and im a beautiful girl in this country of Cote d' Ivoire. i am an ordinary girl and simple bread winner of my self. finish college degree not working .I am brought up motherless but i am thankful that I have my father with me all along till the death of my father on 20th Febuary 2010 in a private hospital here in Abidjan.
he secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum of $ 12.500.000 (Tweleve Million, five hundred thousand dollars) left in a suspence account in one of the local bank here in Abidjan, that he used my name as his first daugther for the next of kin in deposit of the fund.now. I can say that God is good in everywhere and in everytime.
he also explained to me that it was because of this wealth and some huge amount of money his business associates supposed to balance him from the deal they had that he was poisoned by his business associates, that I should seek for a God fearing foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this money and use it for investment purpose such as real (estate management) can you be my friend,my guardian,my partner, for the time been.
dearest, i am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways ) 1 to provide a Bank account where this money would be transferred to ) 2 to serve as the guardian of this since I am a girl of 22 years. moreover dear, i am willing to offer you some % of the sum as compensation for effort input after the successful transfer of this fund to your designate account overseas.
Thank you very much, i will wait for your reply. God always be with you.
Ms Heidrun Witte