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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Grace Richard" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 08:04:52 -0500
Subject: From Miss Grace Richard
Hello I made this request with tears in my eyes and I believe that the spirit of God, the Almighty will touch you to hear my cry and to solve my problem, because I cry with hope of getting an answer to this problem will give me the joy of life that i lost since the demise of my parents. I am Richard Grace, first daughter of my late parents Mr. and Mrs. Pascal Richard, since me my little brother are the only children of our late parents, they took us so special and provided all we needed in life. My father trader of coffee and cocoa-operator a residence in Abidjan, Cote d 'Ivoire. My father was shot last two years during the civil war in my country (Ivory COAST). My mother having died since we were very little, and since then my father has taken good care of us. Before his death in a private hospital in Abidjan, told me he had deposited a large sum of money, about Four million Five Hundred Thousand U.S. dollars ($4.500.000) in a bank and he used my name as his eldest daughter!
as Next of Kin to the deposited f