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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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: Linda Kouame <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:27:40 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: URGENT ASSISTANCE FROM LINDA KOUAME
URGENT ASSISTANCE FROM LINDA KOUAME
>From Linda Kouame,Â Bless you,
I want to seek your lovely care and help to come over to your country to stay, continue my education and investment my inheritance fund.
I am a God fearing girl of 21 years Miss Linda Kouame Â the only born of my father late Mr. James Kouame a successful business man and the Director of Cocoa Export Corporation of D'Ivoire. Life is difficult for me now after several attacks by unknown men to shoot me to death.
An Investigations where made that one of them was caught and it happened to be my late fathers manager and my uncle. They planed to kill me in other to inherit all my father's assets.
My father's lawyer now handed over to me a document of my late fatherâs money deposited in the bank which is the sum of US$ 8.5 million and suggested or advised me to fly out with this money to a foreign country to invest the money and stay to continue my education for my safety.
Please this is urgent and I need you to help me complete the transaction and also help me to transfer the fund in your account to enable me come to over to your country.
Miss Linda Kouame