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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "% commission" (Beware of any scheme that involves depositing checks or money orders or receiving wire transfers in your bank account and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere, for a percentage of 5-15% of the total. Such offers are *always* fraudulent and you will be liable for the entire amount when the checks, money orders or wire transfers turn out to be fraudulent. Any money already forwarded comes out of *your* pocket then. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: KONE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2016 15:23:27 -0700
Subject: Partnership Request
I am Didier Kone consultant and of African descent but based here in the
U.K.I am contacting you after painstaking searching exercise to confirm
that you have the reputation and capacity to handle the task ahead.
We are in search of a reputable person or company to do a partnership
with.Your current job or area of specialization does not really matter.I
am currently working for a senior government official who is a top
official of Petroleum Resources in Ivory Coast.The country is not very
rich in crude but has a functional deep sea port and Refinery unlike
other West African countries.These two advantages made the country very
important and strategic in importation and distribution of petroleum
products in the sub-region moreso when the region depends so much on
imported refined products.
These products usually come in numerous very big vessels and other
countries in the region does not have deep ports to berth such vessels
in their countries.Inevitably,they use smaller vessels to transfer the
products from the mother- vessel from our port to their ports en route
Tank farms for distribution.
Now,here is the area of partnership.The ministry pays so much for the
transhipment of these products hence the official desires to get
involved in a private capacity by proxy.Your role here will be to
Incorporate a company and Register same with the ministry in accordance
with the laid down rules of foreign companies engaging in commercial
activities in Ivory Coast .Once that is done,the official will provide
$100m to procure medium size vessels (7-10) in your company's name for
However,we are proposing a 30% commission for you from what is
accumulated as profit.The anticipated monthly profit is in the region
of usd 10-15m.
Please confirm your interest for further details.