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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "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 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.
- +22566319465 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Benardine Soutra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 12:54:51 +0100
Subject: Dr Mrs Benerdine Soutra.
Dr Mrs Benerdine Soutra.
Director Project Implementation
African Anglo-Gold Corporation
Abidjan Cote Divoire
Contact:+225 66 31 94 65
am Dr Mrs Benerdine Soutra, Director Project Implementation with
African Anglo-Gold Corporation here in Abidjan,Cote Divoire and a member
of the Contract Tenders Board (CTB) of the above corporation.Your
esteemed address was reliably introduced to me from the Chamber of
Commerce and Industry in my search for a reliable, individual/company
who can handle a strictly confidential transaction, which involves the
transfer of a reasonable sum of money to a foreign account. The amount
of money involved is £35,000,000.00 (Thirty Five Million Great British
This money has already been extracted from
various contracts awarded by this corporation, as a result of
over-invoicing masterminded by the concerned officials involved, this
has been drafted to represent the final payment for a contract that has
been executed to this corporation some years back, the money is now
floating in the suspense account of the Bank Atlantique here in the
economic capital city of Ivory Coast awaiting claim by any foreign
partner with which status we now want you to resume.
Now is the
optimum period to consummate this fund, following the presidential
directive to all parasitical to settle all outstanding debts owed to
both local and foreign contractors? In my last meeting with the
Officials involved, it was unanimously agreed that 30% of the total sum
will be given to you, 60% will be for us while 10% will be use to settle
all expenses that will be incurred in the processing of this transfer.
assure you that this transaction is 100% risk free as we have concluded
every arrangement to protect the interest of everyone involved,
Likewise all modalities for the successful transfer of this fund have
been worked out with Ministry of finance and the Bank Atlantique here in
Abidjan,Ivory Coast to facilitate the remittance of this fund to your
designated account within 72 hours after your claim has been
approved.However, I would want to believe that you are honest enough and
will not raise any misgiving attitude in any aspect of the transaction,
more importantly, that you will keep this transaction very confidential
so as not to tarnish the confidence reposed on these officials by the
If this proposal is of interest to you, then kindly
contact me immediately through my above information.Please treat this
information as confidential.
Dr Mrs Benerdine Soutra
Director Project Implementation.
Ivorian, Anglo Gold Corporation