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:
- "to your nominated 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 state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 20:00:36 +0900 (JST)
Subject: From: Mercia Akume
From: Mercia Akume
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you.
got your contact and I prayed over it and selected your name among
other names due to its esteeming nature and the recommendations given to
me as a reputable and trust worthy person that I can confide on and by
the this recommendation I must not hesitate to confide in you for this
legal, truethful and Godly relationship .
I am Mercia Akume from
Sierra Leone the only daughter of late Mr and Mrs Akume. My father was a
very wealthy cocoa merchant, my father was poisoned to death by his
business associates on one of their outings on a business trip .
mother died when I was a baby and since then my father took me so
special. Before the death of my father in a private hospital here he
secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of
Five million five hundred thousand United State Dollars. US($5.500,000),
left in fixed / suspense account in one of the international bank in
Africa,he used my name as his only daughter for the next of Kin in
depositing of the fund.
My late father Instructed me to seek for a
foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this
money and use it for investment purpose such as real estate management
or hotel management .
Sir, I am honourably seeking for your assistance in the following ways:
(1) To provide a bank account in which this money would be transferred to .
(2) To serve as my guardian and of this fund since I am not capable to handle it.
(3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education.
I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your
effort/ input after the successful transfer of this fund to your
nominated bank account. please make sure that you write me very fast, it
Anticipating to hear from you soon.
Thanks and God bless.