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:
- "account in your country or any safer place" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found 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: Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 08:43:05 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Good Day,
Â Good Day,Â
Please,kindly pardon me for any inconvenience this letter may cost you because I know it may come to you as a surprise as we have no previous correspondence . I got your contact as I was searching for helping hand in your country,this is why I decided to appeal to you directly for assistance because I have no relations or friends in your country for help I am Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills from Ivory Coast.I am a widow being that I lost my husband a couple of months ago. My husband was a serving director of the Cocoa exporting board until his death .He was assassinated last january by the rebels following the political uprising. Before his death he had a foreign account here in Cote d'Ivoire up to the tune of $8.5M which he told the bank was for the importation of cocoa processing machine. I want you to do me a favour to receive this funds to a safe account in your country or any safer place as the beneficiary.I have plans to do investment in your country, like real estate and industrial production.This is my reason for writing to you. Please if you are willing to assist me and my only son Frank, indicate your interest in replying soonest Thanks and best regards . Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills