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:
- "million us 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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned 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: Helen Akah <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Helen Akah <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:55:30 +0000 (UTC)
Â Hello dear i need your help,I am Miss Helen Akah from Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast, a girl of 19years old, never married and a first year medical student. I have a special reason why I decided to contact you, I'm interested in you for a long term relationship and investment assistance under your control in your country. With due respect, pains, tears and sorrow from my heart. I am bereaved from all side of my life, it has not been easy for me and i have been facing many challenges of life ever since i lost my Father (Mr Kones Akah) who was the former Ivory Coast, road Minister before his death and he died on plane crash since June 10, 2008.Â I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment which I am receiving from my wicked uncle's who have planned to take away all my late father's treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of my beloved Father. I have decided to contact you for an inheritance fund transaction the sum of FIFTEEN Million US Dollars ($15.000.000.00) Â to be transfer to your reliable bank account as my investment Manager/Partner. The Funds was deposited in the vault of Bank here in my name as the beneficiary/Next of Kin.
I have contacted the Bank to clear the deposit but the Branch Manager advised me to appoint a reliable investment partner because my refugee status here in this country does not allowed me to make the claim myself. I am presently staying in the refugee camp here in Ghana. Presently i'm staying in the refugee camp under the protection of U.N.H.C.R here in Ghana.
Miss Helen Akah .