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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (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: Sumbre J <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2016 14:24:00 +0000
Subject: I need your help! (very urgent)
This message might come to you as a surprise since we do not know each other. I'm writing you with heart full of tears and sorrow. My name is Ms Sumbre Jimmy, I am 22 years old Medical student in University of Sudan , I am the only child of my father of a blessed memory by name Late Mr. Jimmy Lemi Milla who was the rural development minister in Sudan . You can read more about my father death in the BBC news website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12403620
My late father was killed by his driver whom was paid by unknown people to assailant my family but he succeeded in killing my father and the shocked death of my father leads to my mother death after 3 days of father's death. I am actually in search of an honest and reliable person who will assist me to relocate to his country & also help me to transfer the sum of US$4.5M my inheritance which was deposited in a bank in Cotonou by my late father.
After reading your profile,I decided to contact you to ask for your assistance in this urgent matter that requires trust/ confidentiality. Hence I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and I believe you will not betray me now that you known my predicament.
Two days after my father's death my mother informed me in her sick bed of US$4.5M my late father deposited with a bank in Cotonou Benin Republic which my name was used as next of kin. I am presently in Cotonou and I have gone to the bank to confirm the deposit and establish ownership. Please I need your assistance urgently in moving this fund to your country for investment and also help me relocate to your country as I was advised by my late mother. when my inheritance is properly secured you will have 20% of the value for your assistance. I shall appreciate an urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction. Thanks in anticipation of your response.