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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Essica Jacob Lavoie" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2016 20:36:59 +0530
Subject: YOUR ASSISTANCE WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED
Compliments of the day,
I am Essica Jacob Lavoie, I'm writing this message to you With due respect, trust and humanity, I got your email address after an extensive on-line search via network power charitable trust for a reliable person. I appeal to you to exercise a little patience and read through my letter, I feel quite safe dealing with you in this important message, I'm sincerely writing this email to you with pains, tears and sorrow from my heart, I will really like to have a good understanding with you and i have a special reason why i decided to contact you, I decided to contact you due to the urgency of my situation. I'm writing you from hospital bed, Therefore this message is very urgent. I have a donation to make which I will need your assistance to carry it out, I will be 62 years old this coming month, I'm a widow and a government worker for many years here in Ivory Coast. I have sum of $4.9 Million, Four Million Nine Hundred Thousand United States Dollars with my late husband Hon. Jacob Lavoie, I want to give it out to
I have a serious cancer disease and will be going for my third surgical operation, although the doctors had already confirmed that I will only last for some months but I am glad that the lord has kept me safe and guided me to accomplished my desires. I want you to contact my house helper, I have given him the documents of the funds and have directed him to a lawyer that will assist you to change the documents of the fund to your name to enable my bank transfer the fund to you.
Charles Merribe Nicholas.
Address: Avenue 16, Wade Ave,
Abidjan 16, Cote d'Ivoire.
He will give you the documents and direction on how you will contact the lawyer that I have appointed to him to assist you, The lawyer will do everything on your behalf here in Ivory Coast to assure the success of the transaction.
This are the favour i need from you after you received the fund under your control.
(1) Give 10% of the money to Charles Merribe Nicholas as he has been here for me throughout my illness and I have promised to support him, therefore you will take him as my or your child.
(2) Give 60% of the money to Charity organizations, orphanage homes and Churches e.t.c, on my name so that my desires will be fulfilled.
(3) The remaining 30% should be for you and others that you may personally wish to assist.
Mrs Essica Jacob Lavoie.