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:
- "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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22554921309 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: Mary Kvon <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mary Kvon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 16:51:50 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: From me Mary Kvon
Â From me Mary Kvon.
With Honest and Trust,
I have to resend this mail to you because I have sent it to you several times without been respond. I plead that you make out time and read my email and I beg you not to misunderstand me because of my situation.
I am Mary Kvon, My late parents Mr. & Mrs. Michael Kvon were kill in political crisis and left some funds US $16.5 Million here in Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire which I wish to invest in your country. My main concern of contacting you is for you to receive these funds US $16.5 Million in a safe account in your country or any other safer place as the beneficiary.
I have plans to do investment's in your country, like in real estate, industrial production's, or any profitable venture you deem fit and better, I have agreed to compensate you with 45% percent out of the total fund.
Please if you are willing to assist me with all your heart, indicate your interest by replying back to my mail, and also feel free to call me on this telephone number (+225-54921309) for more information about this transaction.
May God bless you!