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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Linda Lagu" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 12:10:49 -0000
Subject: Good morning
Good morning to you.
Please permit my email. My name is Linda Lagu. I am 16 years old. I am from Republic of South Sudan. I am an orphan as a result of the death of my parents and three siblings. My parents and three of my siblings were victims of the present crisis that is still going on in my country. It was a very sad incident and an unbearable lost to me. May there soul rest in perfect peace.
I have come across your contact email address through my late father's international business directory and i decided to contact you to seek for your kind assistance. My late father deposited some money totalling three million five hundred thousand dollars in the bank and according to the bank people, the money was meant to be transferred to his business partner overseas. Now that i am the only surviving child, i want to relocate to your country with this money so that I can further my education and also invest it in real estate under your guardianship.
Because of the clause attached to the deposit and my limited status, i would want to present your name to the bank as my guardian and my late father's overseas business partner so that you can receive the money in your bank account and after that you will help me to come over to your country. It is true that i do not know you in person and we have not seen each other before but i pray that you will have it in your heart to assist me with all sincerity and honesty. I plead your understanding so that i can present your name to the bank as my guardian and my late father's overseas business partner so that the bank can contact you officially for the transfer of the money to your bank account.
After the death of my parents and three siblings i had to ran out of my country to a refugee mission camp in a neighbouring country called Burkina Faso just to safe my own life. Before then I was going through my late father's important documents in his briefcase and i saw a bank document about a deposit of money he made in a bank in Ivory Coast. The amount in the bank document is three million five hundred thousand dollars. I succeeded in locating the bank where my late father deposited the money and identified my self properly and also informed the bank about the sad fate my parents had suffered. The bank confirmed the deposit document and said that my late father deposited the money in their bank escrow transit account.
I am presently taking refuge in a Catholic Church here in Ivory Coast. I need your urgent response so that i can present your name to the bank as my guardian and my late father's overseas business partner. After receiving the money in your bank account you will help me and invest it properly into real estate business and also manage the investment until i am capable.
Please if you can assist me with all sincerity and honesty and also help me to secure a stay in your country then you can send your contact information that the bank can use to contact you so that i can make your name available to the bank as my late father's overseas business partner and guardian that will attest on my behalf for the release of the money. I am willing to give you any amount which you will wish to have after helping me achieve my dream of relocating to your peaceful country with this money. I hope with your adverse experience i can have the money successfully transferred to your peaceful country and i will have a better life to live in your country under your guardianship. Thank you and May God bless you and your family as you help me achieve my dream of relocating to your country to start a new life and further my education under your guardianship.