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:
- "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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss Grace Kone" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:10:17 +0100
Subject: Dear I Need Your Help
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
I am Miss Grace Kone the only daughter of late Mr and Mrs Williams Kone.
My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in Abidjan , the economic capital of Ivory coast, my father was killed by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip during the recent political crisis in our country between our former President Laurent Gbagbo and the new president Alassane Ouattara.
My mother died when I was a baby. Before the death of my father, he has the sum of $10.5m (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) left in fixed / suspense account in one of the prime bank here in Abidjan,that he used my name as his only daughter for the next of Kin in depositing of the fund. He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was killed by his business associates.
I am seeking your assistance in receiving this money and use it for investments on my behalf and to serve as a guardian of the investments. You will also help me make arrangement for me to come over to further my education. Moreover,i am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/ input after the successful transfer of this money into your nominated account.
Furthermore, you indicate your options towards assisting me as I believe that this transaction would be concluded within seven (7) days you signify interest to assist me.
Anticipating to hear from you soon.
Miss Grace Kone