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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "transferred into your bank account" (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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Diane Severin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Diane Severin <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:05:35 +0900 (JST)
Subject: From Miss Diane,
I am contacting you for a business venture which I intend to establish in your country.Though I have not met with you before but I believe, one has to risk confiding in someone to succeed sometimes in life.There is this amount of Seven Million,Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($7,500.000.00) which my late father deposited with a Security company here which he wanted to use for his political ambition in our Country before he was assassinated,My name is diane severin,female,from abidjan-ivory coast of west africa.
Now I have decided to invest this money in your country or anywhere safe enough outside Africa for security and political reasons.I want you to help me receive the money which will be transferred into your bank account.
I will like to invest part of the money into these two investment in your Country but, if there is any other business that is better than what I am suggesting, I will be very glad to follow your advice.
1). Real estate
2). The transport industry
If you can be of an assistance to me I will be pleased to offer you 30% Of the
total fund while the balance will be invested by you.
I await your response.
Miss Diane Severin.