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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: zarah mbogo <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 02:46:01 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP.
I know this mail will come to you as a surprise since we haven't known or come across each other before
considering the fact that I sourced your email contact through the Internet in search of trusted person who can
I am Miss Zarah Mbogo Edwards 24 years old female from Liberia,West Africa, I am the only Daughter of Late prince
Mbogo Edwards the deputy minister of national security under the leadership of president Charles Taylor who is
now in exile after many innocent soul were killed ,My Father was killed by government of Charles Taylor ,after
accusing of coup attempt.
Â I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment which I am receiving from my step mother. She
planned to take away all my late father's treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of my beloved
Father. Meanwhile I wanted to travel to Europe, but she hide away my international passport and other valuable
documents. Luckily she did not discover where I kept my father's File which contained important documents. Now I
am presently staying in the Mission in Burkina Faso. I am seeking for long term relationship and investment
assistance. My father of blessed memory deposited the sum of US$ 8.5 Million in one bank inÂ Burkina Faso with my
name as the next of kin. I had contacted the Bank to clear the deposit but the Branch Manager told me that being a
refugee, my status according to the local law does not authorize me to carry out the operation. However, he advised
me to provide a trustee who will stand on my behalf. I had wanted to
Â inform my stepmother about this deposit but I am afraid that she will not offer me anything after the release of the
Therefore, I decide to seek for your help in transferring the money into your bank account while I will relocate to
your country and settle down with you. As you indicated your interest to help me I will give you the account number
and the contact of the bank where my late beloved father deposited the money with my name as the next of kin. It is
my intention to compensate you with 40% of the total money for your assistance and the balance shall be my
investment in any profitable venture which you will recommend to me as have no any idea about foreign investment.
Please all communications should be through this email address for confidential purposes.
Thanking you a lot in anticipation of your quick response. I will give you details in my next mail after receiving your
acceptance mail to help me.
Please reply me with this Email___ (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Miss Zarah Mbogo Edwards