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:
- "million 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)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "a reliable and reputable person to handle this" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Davis Roman" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2016 09:03:03 -0000
I am soliciting your kind assistance to be my foreign partner for a mutual
benefit to move this Fourteen million United state Dollars (US$14,
000.000.00) out of here to your care, as far as you can assure me safety
and trust of the funds as it enters your country. I appreciate your time
taken to read this message despite all the scam emails around the globe.
My name is Mr. Davis Roman from Cote D'Ivoire, Ivory Coast the son of
Late Mr. Patrick Roman former special assistance to the formal President
Mr. Laurent Gbagbo who was facing four counts charges of crimes against
humanity murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence in Hague on 29
November 2011. My father Mr. Patrick Roman was killed by rebels in the
City of Abidjan during the war. I came to know you in my Private Search
for a reliable and reputable person to handle this project. I write you
this proposal in good faith.
As a matter of fact, I am presently in Accra-Ghana our Neighboring country
where my later father deposited the sum of Fourteen million United States
dollars (US$14,000.000.00). This $14 million United States Dollars was
packaged and kept in a vault. It was kept for safe-keeping for investment
and to take care of our family. So I need a foreign trusted person who
will help me to invest this funds into any lucrative business. As a matter
of fact, my father is dead hence my family can no longer have any other
means of livelihood except through this funds.
It may interest you to know that this money came from the sales and
proceeds of cocoa, gold and diamonds because my late father was a big
merchant in solid minerals before he met his untimely death. All the
documents to prove the deposit of this fund are with me.
Please I am writing to seek your assistance as a faithful person to stand
and accept to receive this money in your country as my foreign partner and
my co-beneficiary of this funds.
I am looking forward to hear from you.