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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mercy Dominic <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mercy Dominic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2014 16:32:37 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: RE: Hello My Dear Parents,
RE: From MercyÂ Dominic.Â
Â Â Â Â
Thank you very much for your profile on the internet, which has made me to accomplish my request. As i am browsing the internet, i saw your profile which attracted my spirit that you can handle this transaction the way it will please Me, but i was very ill so i could not send you an email until now.
I am Mercy Dominic the only child of late Mr and Mrs William Dominic.My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in Abidjan , the economic capital of Ivory coast, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip . MyÂ mother died when i was a baby and since then my father took me so special. Before the death of my father on January 2013 in a private hospital here in Abidjan he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of Four Million,Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars. USD $4.5m left in fixed / \suspense account in one of the prime bank here in Abidjan ,that he used myÂ names as his only child for the next of Kin in depositing of the fund. That i should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where we shall transfer this money and use it for investment purpose such as real estate management or hotel management .
Dear, am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways:
(1) To provide a good bank account into which this money would be transferred into . (2) To serve as a guardian of this fund since I am only 17 years old. (3) To make arrangement for meÂ to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a resident permit in your country.
Moreover, dear, i am willing to offer you 30% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/ input after the successful transfer of this fund into your nominated account overseas.
Furthermore, you indicate your options towards assisting me as we believe that this transaction would be concluded within seven (7) days you signify interest to assist me. Please contact me on my private emailÂ (email@example.com ) for more informations.
Anticipating to hear from you soon.