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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "trunk box" (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 u.s 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 orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: blessing kuzuomahu <email@example.com>
Reply-To: blessing kuzuomahu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2015 21:17:55 +0900 (JST)
Subject: From Master King Blessing Cote D'iviore in West Africa
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you, My Name is Master King Blessing the only Son of late Mr and Mrs Onyekerem Blessing i am 17 year's old My father was a very wealthy Cocoa merchant in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire in west Africa.
My father was shot during the political crisis in Cote d'Ivoire in 2011 and he was rushed to hospital but he did not survive the gun shot and died, before his death he told me that he deposited the sum of USD $5.1m ( FIVE MILLION ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND U.S DOLLARS ) in a security company here in Abidjan Ghana which he put in a trunk box and registered as family belong with the security company, because he don't want the security company to know the content of the trunk box for the safety of the money.
I want you to help me secure this my inheritance from my late father as my late father's foreign business partner because my mother died when i was four years. also know you will help me come over to your country to continue my education while you will help me invest the money for me in a good business.
I have gone to the security company here and confirm the deposit and i'm now in Abidjan here for the release of the trunk box to you. I will compensate you with 30% of this money if you help me secure this box from the security company here. l hope you will not betray the trust i have on you because this money is my only surviving hope in this life.
I can assure you there is No Risk involve the money is my inheritance from my late father