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:
- "% for any expenses which may be incurred" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "account in your country or any safer place" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "consignment " (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)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22567954447 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Faith Chimezamoma Michael" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Faith Chimezamoma Michael" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 May 2014 00:20:54 +0900 (JST)
Subject: My Dear
I am Mrs. Faith Chimezamoma Michael from Cote D`Ivoire (Ivory Coast). I am a widow being that I lost my husband during this political crises in Cote Divoire. My husband,late Dr. Michael Ihema, was one of the Former President Cabinet Mr. Laurence Gbagbo, He was assassinated in March (2011) by the rebels supporting the Current President (President Alassane Quattara) following a political uprising.
Before his death, he Deposited the total sum of $5m(Five Million United StateDolars) in a Consignment Trunk here in Cote D'Ivoire(Ivory Coast) in one of theSecurity Company up to the tune of $5m (Five Million United State Dollars Only) which he told the Security Company that it was Family Valuables and Africa Arts for security Reasons.However,due to my bad health situation occassioned by cancer, i wish you to do me a favour to receive this fund to a safe account in your country or any safer place as the beneficiary so that you will invest it in a good business venture for the benefit and education of my two sons / One Daugther who will be coming to stay under your kind custody after the transfer for their education and future because my health is failing me.
I have plans to do investments in your country, like real estate and industrialproduction.This is my reason for writing to you. You can donate 10% of the total Fund to the Needy and less Privelages around your Country, 65% for ourselves, 20% for your cordial assistance and 5% for any expenses which may be incurred in the course of this transaction.
Finally if you have any question regarding this transaction, please contact us.Please note that the confidentiality of this transaction would be highly appreicated. I await your quick reply. I will love to chat with you on Cam to cam so that i will know whom i am dealing with, and also you will see me and my kids.you can call me at my phone number 00225 67954447
Please when responding my proposal, also include your contact details such as:
1) Your Direct Telephone
5) Your Full Names
Thanks and best regards.
Mrs.Faith Chimezamoma Michael sons and Daugther.