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:
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Sandra Anderson <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mrs Sandra Anderson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:55:38 +0000 (UTC)
Mrs Sandra Anderson
09 BP 77 Abidjan 09
I am Mrs Sandra Anderson (Phd.Msc,Fsd). I am married to Pharmacist Mr.Anderson B.Muko. an Englishman who died years ago. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $7.5 Million (Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand) in one of the prime bank in Ivory Coast,which were derived from his vast estates and investments.
Presently,this money is still with the bank and My Doctor told me that I have limited days to live due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from,My mail may seem very pitiable, painful and sorrowful, but there is a favour I want you to do to my letter rather than pity me alone! This is to LOVE and CARE for given out this said on trust for investment and humanitarian aid, and you should as well take Good care of my only son, he is 16yrs while his name is ISAIAH
I have decided to give 20% of this fund for the upkeep of widows, widowers, orphans, destitutes, the down-trodden, physically challenged children, barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially,also 10% for yourself and the balance for investment purpose and the future of my son.I would appreciate if you can send to me immediately your personal information so that i can forward them to the bank where the money is deposited and instruct them to process the transferring of the money to you as the next beneficiary without further delay.Do send your information as follows :
Your full name:
Your contact address
Your phone number:
Date of Birth:
Thanks and remain blessed,i will be expecting to hear back from you.
Mrs Sandra Anderson
PLEASE USE MY DONATION FOR CHARITY