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:
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Helen George <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Helen George <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2015 18:54:15 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Greeting to you my Dear
Greeting to you my Dear, Please I need your help and Assistance!
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I am Miss Helen George, The only Daughter of late Mr.and Mrs.Robert George. My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant here in Abidjan; the economic capital of Ivory Coast, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip.
My mother died when I was a baby and since then my father took me so special, Before the death of my father in a private hospital here in Abidjan he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of Ten Million, Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars (USD $10.5 Million Dollars) deposited in one of the largest bank here in Abidjan, that he used my name as his only Daughter for the next of Kin in depositing of the total fund to the bank. He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned to death by his business associates.
That I should seek and look for a foreign partner in a country of my choice who will assist me for investment purpose with this fund, Dearest I am honorably seeking for your assistance in these following ways below:
(1) To stand as my late father foreign partner before the bank can transfer the money into your bank account in your country.
(2) To serve as a guardian of this fund and invest them into a good business investments that can benefit you and me in future since I am only 19 years old girl, and I do not have any idea of any business investment!
(3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education/study and to secure a resident permit and my traveling Visa to come over and stay in your country.
Moreover, I am willing to offer you 50% percent of the total fund (USD $10.5 Million Dollars) as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transferring of the fund from the bank While 50% percent will be for me and my Education over there in your country.
Furthermore, Please indicate your interest by helping me out for I believe that this transaction would be concluded within fourteen (14) days from the day you signify your interest to assist me.
Anticipating to hearing from you soon.
Thanks and best regards.
Miss Helen George.