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:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: "Benedicta Akeem" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 19:25:04 +0100
Subject: I am pleased to know you
FROM MS AKEEM BENEDICTA
RUE 6 BP 01 COCODY ABIDJAN
COTE D IVOIRE.
I KNOW MY MESSAGE WILL COME TO YOU AS A SURPRISE SINCE
I DONT KNOW YOU IN PERSON OR MET WITH YOU BEFORE BUT
AM OF THE BELIEVE THAT YOU WOULD BE OBLIGED TO COME TO
MY ASSISTANCE AFTER HEARING ABOUT MY SITUATION. I AM
I WAS FORMELY A MEDICAL STUDENT OF UNIVERSITY OF
ABIDJAN,IVORY COAST WEST AFRICA.LATE LAST TWO YEARS
,THE REBELS IN MY COUNTRY STRUCK OUR TOWNSHIP AND
KILLED MY PARENTS AND MY ONLY BROTHER BECAUSE MY
FATHER WAS AN OPPOSITION LEADER TO THE PRESIDENT OF
MY COUNTRY IVORY COAST .
BEFORE HIS DEATH HE HAS $9.5 M USD (Nine Million ,
Five Hundred Thousand dollars.)IN A DOMICILIARY
ACCOUNT WITH A BANK IN COTE D IVOIRE WHICH I AM THE
NEXT OF KIN. PLEASE I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THE
1)TO SERVE AS THE GUARDIAN OF THIS FUND
2)TO PROVIDE A BANK ACCOUNT WHERE THIS MONEY WOULD BE
3)TO MAKE ARRANGEMENT FOR ME TO COME OVER AFTER THIS
MONEY IS TRANSFERRED TO COMPLETE MY STUDIES AND ALSO
LOOK FOR A GOOD VENTURE WHERE THIS MONEY WILL BE
I AM WILLING TO OFFER YOU 20% OF THE TOTAL SUM
AS COMPENSATION OF YOUR EFFORT AND 5% FOR ANY OTHER
EXPENCES YOU MIGHT MAKE AFTER A SUCCESFUL TRANSFER.
THANKS AND GOD BLESS YOU
MS AKEEM BENEDICTA