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:
- "god fearing " (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Abdou Karamoh Jr <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 20:00:00 +0200
Subject: ****SPAM****Happy Weekend to you and your family
I am Abdou Karamoh Jr 19 years old boy from Sierra Leone, I am writing
to you from the United Nation refugee camp in Republic of Cote d'Ivoire,
where I have been taking as refugee after the brutal murder of my
parents during the war crisis in my country.
I want you to know that this is Real and 100% Genuine. I want you to
give it a trial because MY WORLD IS MY BOND. I can never harm my God
sent to help me. I can come on skype is possible just to prove that i am
serious and real.
My late father of blessed memory deposited the sum of (US$9, 000, 000.
00) in one of the leading bank in Cote d'Ivoire with my name as the next
of kin. The money which my late father stated in the agreement to
release to me when I am at the age 25 years old I will be in the
position of the funds.. As you will help me in the investment as your
adopted son, which I will like to complete my studies under you, as I
was still in my 2nd year in the college.
Concerning adopting me, you will have to apply to the the Cote d'voire
UN refugee camp. The most important aspect is helping me get the money
out of here, my coming over will never be a problem once the fund is in
I want to inform you that after the transaction you will help me to
prepare my traveling documents and air ticket to come over to meet with
you as your son and be with you.
I have informed the bank all about my plans to claim this money and the
only thing they told me is to look for a foreign partner who will stand
on my behalf due to my age, refugee status and the laws of this country
is against refugees like me to put claim over the money, that is the
reason am looking for a God fearing person like you that will stand for
me as his. For me to introduce you to the Bank, when i received your
Date of Birth
Mode of identification
I will submit to the bank.
You are God sent to rescue me with all your good heart my good God will
bless you. Please Take me like your son and help me because the
suffering is too high on me
Awaiting to hear from you as soon.