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)
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "i feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business" (a common phrase found 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: "alyssa.kones" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "alyssa.kones" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 03:54:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: PLEASE, MY DEAR, I NEED YOUR HELP!!
PLEASE, MY DEAR, I NEED YOUR HELP!!
Am writing this mail to you with tears and sorrow from my heart. With due respect, trust and humility, I appeal to you to exercise a little patience and read through my letter, as I feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business. Honestly, I am writing this email to you with pains, tears and sorrow from my heart, and I will really like to have a good relationship with you. I have a special reason why I decided to contact you, due to the urgency of my situation. My name is Miss Alyssa Kipkalya Kones, 24yrs old female and I hail from Kenya in Africa. My father was the former Kenyan road Minister. He and Assistant Minister of Home Affairs Lorna Laboso had been on board the Cessna 210, which was headed to Kericho and crashed in a remote area called Kajong'a, in western Kenya. The plane crashed on the Tuesday 10th, June, 2008.
After the burial of my father, my stepmother and uncle conspired and sold my father's property to an Italian Expert rate which they shared the money among themselves and left nothing for me. One faithful morning, I opened my father's briefcase and found out the documents with which he had deposited huge amount of money in one bank in Burkina Faso with my name as the next of kin. I travelled to Burkina Faso to withdraw the money for a better life so that I could take care of myself and start a new life. On my arrival, the Bank Director whom I met in person told me that my father's instructions to the bank is that the money would only be released to me when I am married or present a trustee who will help me and invest the money overseas. I am in search of an honest and reliable person who will help me and stand as my trustee so that I will present him to the Bank for transfer of the money to his bank account overseas.
I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and I believe that you will not betray my trust. But rather take me as your own sister. Though you may wonder why I am so soon revealing myself to you without knowing you, well I will say that my mind convinces me that you may be the true person to help me. More so, I will like to disclose much to you if you can help me to relocate to your country because my stepmother has threatened to assassinate me. The amount is ($7.4 USD ) Million United State Dollars, and I have confirmed from the bank in Burkina Faso on my arrival, You will also help me to place the money in a more profitable business venture in your Country. However, you will help by recommending a nice University in your country so that I can complete my studies. It is my intention to compensate you with 40% of the total money for your services and the balance shall be my capital in your establishment.
As soon as I receive your positive response showing your interest I will put things into action immediately. In the light of the above, I shall appreciate an urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction sincerely. Awaiting your urgent and positive response. Please do keep this only to yourself for now until the bank will transfer the fund. I beg you not to disclose it till I come over because I am afraid of my wicked stepmother who has threatened to kill me and have the money alone. I thank God Today that am out from my country (KENYA) but now In (Burkina Faso) where my father deposited these money with my name as the next of Kin.
Yours Sincerely Miss Alyssa Kipkalya Kones.