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:
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22566087558 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, France; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Esther Ashitah <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:55:36 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Hello My Dear, I have good news for you.
Â Hello My Dear, I have good news for you.
How are you doing today? Hope fine. I hope that this message will find you in better mood. I am happy to inform you about my success in getting those fund transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from Venezuela. Presently I am in Venezuela now for investment projects with my own share of the total sum and to continue my education here no matter that this place is not my choice but I have no option. Meanwhile, I did not forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those fund despite that it failed us somehow due to some circumstances beyond you.
Now contact my solicitor in Cote dâIvoire, Barr. Aziz Bafa on his direct email and phone number.
Contact Person: Barr. Aziz Bafa
Tel: +225 66 08 75 58.
OFFICE ADDRESS: Abidjan Cote D`Ivoire.
Ask him to send you the total sum of $180,000.00 Cheque which I kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this regards. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much, so feel free and get in touched with the Barr. Aziz Bafa and instruct him on how to send the Cheque to you.
It is from my widow`s mind and would want you to accept it with all your heart not withstanding that I found someone else for the conclusion of the transfer. It really pain me a lot for not concluding this transaction with you to go into business transaction with you together and be under your care because that were my mind and heart but I am assuring you that I will try and visit you one day to cheer this joy together with you to celebrate the good work in my life after yrs of difficulties. Please I will want you to feel free to contact him on reception of this message and get back to me as soon as you successfully received this cheque because I know it will help you a great deal now.
Please do let me know immediately you receive the cheque so that we can share the joy together after all the suffering at that time. At the moment I am too busy here because of the investment projects which I have at hand with my partner in Venezuela and to build charity organization.
Finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to him on your behalf to receive that Cheque so feel free to get in touch with Barr. Aziz Bafa he will send the amount to you without any delay. I may not be able to reply your entire message in time for i am very busy with my new partner for an investment purpose. Please make sure that you give 10% of this fund to the charity home of your choice, don`t fail to do that because is very important to give thanks to God.
Thanks and remain blessed.