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:
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Monifa Zawadi Ibrahim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 11:28:43 +0100
Subject: I NEED YOUR HELP REPLY
Please i need your help
Please permit me to introduce myself, i am Monifa Zawadi Ibrahim Coulibaly 21 years old female from the Republic of Ivory Coast, West Africa, I'm the Daughter of Late Chief Sgt. Ibrahim Coulibaly (a.k.a General IB ). My late Father was a well known Ivory Coast military leader. He died on Thursday 28 April 2011 following a fight with the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast (FRCI).
For more details, please contact me at my private email: email@example.com
You can read more about my father in the link below:
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 because my mother died during child birth and i was left alone with my step mother to take care of me. Meanwhile i wanted to travel to Europe, but she hide away my traveling documents. Luckily she did not discover where i kept my father's File which contained important documents like the WILL and deposit certificate of my Father's fund which bears my name as the next of kin to inherit the money in his bank account. Now I am presently staying in the Refugee Mission Camp in Nigeria. I am seeking for long term relationship and investment assistance. My father of blessed memory deposited the sum of US$ 11.5 Million in Bank here in Nigeria with my name as the next of kin.
I have contacted the Bank to clear the deposit but the Branch Manager told me that my late father place an instruction on the deposited fund that i must be 25 years of age before the bank will released the money to me or i get someone to claim the money on my behalf.
I wanted to inform my stepmother about this deposit but i am afraid that she will not offer me anything after the release of the money because she threaten to kill me that is why i run to refugee camp in Nigeria to save my live.
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. I am interested to offer 15% to you and again I will hand this money over to you to invest it for me wisely as you know, this is the highest confidence and trust any person can repose on the other especially when it is considered that we did not know ourselves before then you are expected to display high degree of maturity, responsibility, and understanding in handling this information. I will give you every detail about the lawyer in Nigeria for the transfer to carry on to you Please write to me as fast as to acknowledge this mail and thanks in anticipation. For the confidentiality of this transaction please strictly reply me through my direct E-mail Address:(firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details (is very important) i will remain with you for the rest of my life. I have already inform the lawyer who is ready to process the transfer and he has agree to help, i will give him your information once i hear from you.
Please my life is in your hand now help me out before my step mother will find out where i am to kill me. If you are interested to help me send me the below information:
3. Private phone number:__________
5: Your Photo:__________
For more details, please contact me at my private email email@example.com
Thanks in anticipation of your positive response.
Monifa Zawadi Ibrahim Coulibaly.