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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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 orphan scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Daniel Rybacki <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Daniel Rybacki <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:31:06 +0000 (UTC)
From: Daniel Rybacki:
Please do not think this is one of those junk mails you receive in your mailbox/fax machine, which I receive also, but I plead for your tolerance. I know this proposal will come to you as a surprise especially when you do not know the writer.
I am Daniel Rybacki origin of Sierra Leone presently now in Ivory coast both in
West Africa,I am the only son of Chief James Rybacki.
My father was a very wealthy gold and cocoa merchant who based in Accra and
Abidjan respectively, I am there only son. When i was a kid i went to a private
schools and things were going on well for me and my parents but it was unfortunate
that my mother died when i was still tender.
My father took me so special after the death of my mother. and he showered all his
love on me and promised me that he will never have another woman because he did
not want any problem. But it was a tragidy to lost my beloved father last year as
a result of poison.
Before the death of my father in a private hospital in my country, he called me
secretly told me that he deposited the sum of $15,000,000(Fifteen million)united
states dollars)in one of the Prime Security company in CÃTE D'IVOIRE , My late
afther further told me that he used my name as the next of kin in depositing the
After doctor's thorough examination, It was made obviours that my father was
poisoned after traditional enquiry, it was made clear that my wicked uncle was
responsible and to crowned it all, my wicked uncle made an open confession due to
the culture of our land but my father could not survive the sickness. Since the
death of my late father, my wicked uncle is not yet satisfied with his evil
intention, he is still looking after my life so that he will conmfortably seat and
inherite all my late fathers wealth. Before my late father gave-up the last
breath, he strongly advice me to seek for a foreign partner in a country of my
choice and he said that i should invest the fund into a lucrative investments,
such as real estate,stock market investment or hotels.
Please, i am honourably soliciting your kind assistance as follows.
1) To help me stand as my foreign partner who will recieve the money in his bank
account i will give you the whole details and the bank contact information.
2) To serve as my guardian and to help invest this fund over their.
3)To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to continue my education
and to procure me a residential permit. I am willing to offer you 15% of the total
sum as a mode of compensation for your effort after the successful transfer of
these fund to your country.
Please i will be very happy if this transaction will be concluded within seven (7)
working days from now.
I am expecting to hear from you as soon as possible.