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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: charlaine kone <email@example.com>
Reply-To: charlaine kone <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2013 22:05:12 +0000 (GMT)
Hello My Dear,
My name is Charlaine Koné from Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa, I am 19yrs old female. I have decided to contact you after much thought considering the
fact that we have not meet before, but because of the urgency of my present situation here. My parents was the victim of the civil war here in Cote d'Ivoire 2011,
which the formal president Laurent Gbagbo is still facing the trial now in CPI.
I am contacting you because I was left alone and now my late father's relation have thrown me out of my late father house and sell the house and all our properties.
Fortunately to me I found my father's briefcase and when I opened it I found some documents, which my late father use to deposit the sum of Three Million Two Hundred
Thousand United State Dollars ($3.200.000.00) in the Bank with my name as next of kin, but when I went to the bank to make a withdraw from the money so that i can
start a better life and also further my education. But the Director of the bank told me that my father's instruction during the time of deposit is that the fund would
only be release to me when I am married or present a trustee/partner who will help me and invest the fund overseas, therefore the bank ask me to go and look for a
foreign partner who will represent me, that was why I decided to contact you, which I believe that you are going to be honest and reliable person that will help me and
stand as my trustee/partner, and It is my intention to compensate you with 20% of the total fund for your services and help after the transfer, and the balance shall
be my capital in your establishment.
Please reply me via this email address: (email@example.com) if you are interested, so I can send you the contact information of the holding bank, and all other
things you need to know about me and this transaction.
I will send you my picture in my next email.
I hope to hear from you soon
Miss Charlaine Koné