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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- 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: Michael Grady <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 18:17:40 +0000
Subject: From Michael Grady I Need Your Attention.
>From Michael Grady I Need Your Attention.
P.O. Box 201 Abidjan.
Pls, I need your kind urgent attention! I am reaching you with faith to solicit for your kind assistance to help me achieve good plan for investment in your country, I inherited the sum of $16.7 Million Dollars, from my late parents which I want to transfer into your safe account. This money which I inherited from my late parents, I want to use it for investment in your country, and also want you to help me come over to your country after the successful transfer to your account, I am contacting you for an investment purpose which I will highly need your full assistance.
I will like to establish a good relationship with you which I am desecrate in need of your Kind help to achieve this effort. I am the only son of my late father, Chief Grady O. Christopher. My late father was a Gold and Precious Stones Marchant/Real State when he was Alive, He was poisoned to death by his brothers because of land dispute, and my late mother died last 3 months ago after suffered kidney surgical operation here. When she was on hospital bed before her painful death, she advised me to seek for a foreign assistance that will help me to receive this money, and for me to leave Africa, you will help me and put this money into good investments with fear of God as I do not have much idea or good knowledge to manage the big money.
I am Sierra Leone National, I will be very happy if you can be willing to help me Accomplish this plan as I have decided to leave from Africa and come to your country and resettle for this investment plan and my security for my better future and also to further my education while you will be managing the business on my behalf. So please kindly indicate your interest while I will appreciate to feed you with more information on your response to help me. I will like to offer you 25% of the money for your kind assistance. If interested to help please contact me through my private email address at ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) for more information's.
Anxiously waiting for your interesting reply!