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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million 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)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (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: Miss Joy Koffi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Miss Joy Koffi <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:22:57 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: From: Miss Joy Koffi,
From: Miss Joy Koffi,
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â My warmest greeting to you,
I am Miss Joy Koffi, I inheritated an important some from my late Mother whodied in recent crisis in Cote d'Ivoire. I wish to request for your assistancein investing this sum in lucrative venture or manufacturing and real estatemanagement in your country. I have ($7.7 Million Dollars.) to invest in thistransaction and I will require your assistance in receiving the fund in youraccount in your country. I will gladly give you some resonable percent from thetotal sum for your assistance.
Before her death she gave me all the necessary legal documents to thedeposit of the fund in the bank, I am 18 years old and a universityundergraduate and really don't know what to do. Now I want an account overseaswhere I can transfer this funds and after the transaction I will come andreside permanently in your country till such a time that it will be convinientfor me to return back home if I so desire. This is because I have suffered alot of set backs as a result of incessant political crisis here in Ivory coast.The death of my Mother actually brought sorrow to my life. I also want toinvest the funds under your care because I am ignorant of business world.
I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards. Yoursuggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. Now permit me to ask these fewquestions:
1. Can you honestly help me from your heart?
2. Can I completely trust you?
3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you after themoney is in your account?
Please, consider this and get backto me as soon as possible. Immedaitely I confirm your willingness, I will sendto you my picture and also give you more details about myself and the bank weremy late Mother deposited the fund, so that you can reach the bank and confirmthe existence of the fund as well,
Because seeing is believing.
Awaiting your immediate response and May God bless you.
Miss Joy Koffi.