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:
- "million 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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Naomi Gagnon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Naomi Gagnon <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:47:02 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hello, Greetings to you
Greetings to you . I'm Miss. Mrs.Naomi Gagnon only daughter of late Dr.fabrice Gagnon,im 21 years old
I am writing you and recently My Beloved Dad join his ancestors though
the hand evil politicianas who accused my father of supporting the past
president Laurent Gbagbo who is now in prison in Holland and since then
the rebels and supporters of the present government are seeking a way
to eliminate my life after assassinating my father and and by the grace
of God I except from the hand of the rebels and ran to hide in Capital
city of our country Abidjan IVORYCOAST for security of my life.
father left a big amount of money with the bank USD 4.5MILLION DOLLARS,
and I don't know about this, it was on the 10th of October last year
that our family lawyer kindly hand over to me the documents covering the
deposit and the WILL my father wrote and the instruction on how I will
utilize the money, Meanwhile I don't know what actually what to do with
this money because of shattered brain and life line, that is why I
contacted you so that you can help me and also help or give me
suggestion how I will handle the inheritance and also help me to
transfer this fund to your account over in your country for security of
my life and the fund because right here i am scared of my life due to
the threat by the supporters of the president
My dear after the
conclusion of the transfer of the money I will come over to your
country to have peace and security and also to continue my education
while you will search for a good business to invest the money,
it is a long story that if I start to narrate them now, you will be
start shedding tears over there, but I will give you more details in
your next mail but kindly bear in mind that I need you to help me out of
this my bad condition and help transfer this money to his account and
assist me come over there for security of my life and the fund and start
a new life you.
I am anxiously waiting for your kind response
Thanks once again and please extend my greeting to your family.
Thanks and God bless you
Miss Naomi Gagnon