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:
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found 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: Lillian Ketu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2016 17:39:55 +0200
Subject: I am waiting for your reply.
I am Lillian Ketu from Ivory Coast. I am 26 years old, a student. I lost my parents during the political crisis in my country.
My late father was the owner of EPC Company in Ivory Coast, the company whose focus is on the upstream Oil & Gas market. The company was sold after he was confirmed dead by my late father family members with the sense that the tradition doesn`t give female child right to inherit the father`s properties, and even his lawyer betrayed me.
luckily for me as God have his own plans for my life, they couldnt discover where I kept my fathers file which contains important documents of his deposited money sum of US$8,700,000.00.which my father used my name to deposit with one of the leading financial bank here in Burkina Faso. So I quickly escape to this country since they are after my own life and nowhere is safe for me to stay over there. I am in this country today by the grace of God. Now I am seeking for your humble assistance to open your heart and help me to receive this money into your bank account in your country for my future.
I want you to understand that my future depends solely on this money. So please keep this business to yourself only, to avoid raise eye brow of any third party and to avoid falling in hands of this evil people since they are after my life.