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:
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Presca Tagro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Presca Tagro <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:23:40 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: With good faith in you, from Presca..
Please do not get me wrong, I know this may come to you as a surprise. But please hear me out. My name is Miss Presca Tagro, Iâm from Ivory Coast, 23years old girl. i need your urgent assistance so that i can get my fund ($5.5million USA-DOLLARS) which i inherited from my late father But he deposited it in a known SECURITY COMPANY which he wanted to ship to his foreign partner abroad before he was assassinated. My late father was an engineer and minister under the past government of this country. He was an engineer in oil refinery company, Eng DÃ©sirÃ© Tagro.. He deposited the money here in Ivory Coast, He was killed during the uprising last three years. i am now orphan because my mother died when i was 9 while i am now i presently in a guess house because my uncle threaten to kill me if i did not provide the deposit certificate i kept with me. but i needed assistant so that the SECURITY COMPANY would release my inheritance and ship it out the country as assigned agreement between them and my late father as i happened to be the next of kin as last survival of the family, At the moment this country is having political unrest too.
Please reply so that i will detail you more about me and this my inheritance money. Thank you and remain blessed.