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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: =?UTF-8?Q?Mrs=2E_Diane_Ak=C3=A9?= <email@example.com>
Reply-To: =?UTF-8?Q?Mrs=2E_Diane_Ak=C3=A9?= <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:46:36 +0000 (UTC)
In brief: I am Mrs. Diane Michel AkÃ© from Abidjan Cote DâIvoire, a nationality of Kuwait and was married to late Mr&Mrs. Michel AkÃ©, who work with the kuwait embassy here in Abidjan before his death. I am now an ageing widow 64 years old suffering from long time illness, since after the death of my late husband.
I am suffering from ovarian cancer & Stroke illness, which the Medical experts confirms to me that I have two months to live on earth. Having known my condition, I decided to donate the fund which I inherited from my late husband, to whom it may concerned or better a Christian organization that will utilize the money for God's work and 30% out of the total fund will be for your own compensation for doing this work of God.
I have the total sum of US$6.500,000, to donate to the orphanages, which I will like you to help me accomplish the project. If you can sincerely handle this project as I have said, await your urgent reply and promise not to betray my trust on you.
Your Sister in Christ,
Mrs. Diane AkÃ©.