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. )
- "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: Ivory Pure Gold Ltd <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Ivory Pure Gold Ltd <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2016 18:12:45 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Alluvial Gold Dore Bar For Sale
We are small scale Gold miners here in Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire. We have huge quantity of alluvial Gold Dust for sale at a considerable price of Gold Dust $25,500USD per kilo and Gold Dory Bar $26,000 USD per Kilo which is below world market price because we recently decided to expand our business scope internationally and are on the move of building our customer and partnership network.
We want only reliable and serious buyer or broker for a long term business relationship. If you are interested, do not hesitate to get back to us as soon as you receive this mail so that we will prepare and send you our full co-operate offer(FCO). Even if you are not prepared to buy our Gold Dust now but can get a buyer for us, we pay 7% commission per kg to Agent/Mandate or Intermediary.
We look forward
in doing a long lasting business transaction with you.
Ivory Pure Gold Ltd