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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Amina Alsaba Hassan <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:34:45 +0000
Subject: Private Message From Alsaba Amina Hassan
Private Message From Alsaba Amina Hassan
GREETINGS TO YOU,
I WRITE TO TELL YOU OF A MATTER THAT REQUIRED AN URGENT ATTENTION WITH REGARDS TO YOUR REPOSED PERSONALITY AS A RELIABLE, TRUSTWORTHY AND GOD FEARING PERSON. IN BRIEF INTRODUCTION, I AM THE ONLY DAUGTHER OF LATE MR MOHAMMAD HASSAN FROM SIERRA-LEONE.I AND MY JUNIOR BROTHER AHMED ARE PRESENTLY STAYING IN ABIDJAN COTE D'IVOIRE AS A REFUGEES.
MY PARENTS WERE AMONG THE MINISTERS OF JOHNNY PAUL KOROMAH'S REGIME IN SIERRA-LEONE.DURING THE INTERVENTION OF THE ECOMOG SOLDIERS TO RESTORE THE PRESIDENCY OF ALHJI TEJAN KABBAH FROM JOHNNY KOROMAH, MY FATHER WAS AMONG THE 23 EXECUTED MINISTERS. BUT BEFORE THE DEATH OF MY FATHER THERE WAS A DEPOSIT OF USD$12.5 MILLION MADE BY MY LATE FATHER IN ONE OF THE FINACIAL PRIVATE SECURITY BANK IN COTE D'IVOIRE , BUT OUR CONDITION AND POSSIBILITIES MAKES IT VERY DIFFICULT FOR ME AND MY BROTHER AHMED TO APPROACH ANY PERSON FOR RECOMMENDATION.
EVER SINCE THEN WE HAVE BEEN RECEIVING HELP FROM OUR CAMP BECAUSE WE ARE STAYING IN REFUGES CAMP. I HOPE YOU WILL BE TOUCHED TO UNDERSTAND OUR REQUEST. WE WILL LIKE YOU TO HELP US GET THIS MONEY TRANSFER TO YOUR ACCOUNT AND PROVIDE OR LOOK FOR A LUCRATIVE VENTURE WHERE THIS MONEY CAN BE INVESTED IN YOUR COUNTRY TOGETHER WITH YOU. WE HAVE AGREED TO INVEST OUR MONEY VIABLE IN ANY OVERSEAS COUNTRY THROUGH YOUR ASSISTANCE AND DIRECTIVES.
BEFORE PROCEEDING WE WILL GET TO BE MORE FAMILIAR AND ALSO GO INTO AN UNDERSTANDING WORKING AGREEMENT BECAUSE MY FAMILY'S FUTURE NON DEPEND ON THIS VERY MONEY, I HAVE AGREED TO GIVE YOU 20% OF THE TOTAL SUM OF USD$12.5 MILLION FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO US WHILE THE REST WILL BE USE TO RUN THE INVESTMENT TOGETHER WITH YOU..
WE SINCERELY WISH TO INTRODUCE AND MAKE YOU OUR BUSINESS PARTNER AND ADVISORY CONSULTANT OF OUR PROPOSED INVESTMENT IN YOUR COUNTRY. SO IF YOU CAN BE ABLE TO ASSIST ME PLEASE DO URGENTLY REPLY ME SO THAT I WILL LINK YOU FOR FURTHER DETAILS, AND DON'T FORGET TO GIVE ME YOUR PRIVATE TELEPHONE NUMBERS WHILE REPLYING THIS LETTER.
THANKS AND BEST REGARDS
MISS ALSABA AND AHMED HASSAN