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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Ciara Gerry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Miss Ciara Gerry <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2013 23:13:32 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Miss Ciara Gerry Private Investment Fund,
Miss Ciara Gerry Private Investment Fund,
My dear after reading your good profile, It's my pleasure to contact you for a business venture, I am Miss Ciara Loveday Gerry the only Daughter of Mr & Mrs Loveday Obed Gerry.From Ivory cost in West Africa.Based on your good profile i want to solicit for your help,as my parents are dead i want to come and stay under your care and finish my school and invest for the rest of my life.
There is this huge amount of money which my late father deposited in a bank Suspense account here in Abidjan, before he had auto car crash and dead after two weeks in hospital. Now I have decided to invest these money in your country and also continue with my education. I want you to help me to transfer this money to your account in your country for investment with your help and position.
As soon as i receive your positive responds,i will introduce you the bank where the fund was deposited by my late father so that you will verify from them on how to receive the fund and in your country and also you will help me for an invitation letter so that i will come and stay under your care and finish my education while you use the funds for investment's on my behalf in your country.
Miss Ciara Loveday Gerry