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:
- "stay blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "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: "Miss Christelle" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 7 Nov 2015 14:08:10 +0100
Subject: Message From: Miss Christelle Z
With due respect and out of fear of the ugly situation I face presently, I am contacting you to see if you can help me solve my problem as I sincerely believe that one has to risk confiding in someone to succeed sometimes in life considering the situations the person finds his or her self.
I am Miss.Christelle Hermann the only daughter of late Dr. Robert Hermann from Cote d`Ivoire. My Late Father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in the Northern part of Cote d`Ivoire; His death and that of my mum and my junior brother was masterminded by his only brother during the political crisis in my country Cote d`Ivoire in the years 2010.
My late father through his hard work during his life time on earth made a fortune and established many businesses which has now been collected by his only brother the suspect that arranged the killing of my parents because of properties.
Through my findings before living Cote d`Ivoire I was able to get some personal documents of my late father and some was a fund deposit amounts to the tune of Eleven Million Six hundred Thousand Dollars ($11.600.000.00) he deposited with a bank here in Ghana under some conditions which necessitate this communication to you which I cannot handle under my age brackets. Presently I am residing under political asylum here in Ghana due to multiple attacks from my uncle who wished me dead or to obtain any other documents of my late father that is in my care and the condition of life is very unbearable over here because the war in my country has ended and the Government of Ghana and the UN has called off the refugee immunity and rights for Ivoirians citizens in Ghana under political asylum and I cannot go back to my country to avoid the unexpected from my uncle most reasons I contacted you after much deliberations and prayers.
I am willing to offer you 30% of the total sum as compensation for your EFFORT/INPUT after a successful transfer of the said funds into your Bank account and also for you to assist me relocate over there as soon as the bank transfers the money into your bank account to enable me have my peace and continue my education. Therefore I wish to know your readiness to assist me sincerely over this matter to enable me go further in discussing in details with you and also to enable me send you all vital deposit documents.
Looking forward to your immediate response through my private email as follows: email@example.com )
Miss Christelle Hermann