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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Suzan Catim <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Suzan Catim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2017 21:15:12 +0900 (JST)
Subject: i need your help.
Good day and God
bless, I am Suzan Catim from Sierra Leone. i am writing you from Rep of
Cote 'Ivoire where i have been taking refuge after the brutal war and
murder of my parents by the rebels during the renewed fighting in our
country. Because of the war my late Father sold his shipping company
and took me to a nearby country Cote d'Ivoire where he deposited (US18,
500, 000.00 Million in one of the bank.) here in Cote d'Ivoire the
current political situation in Ivory Coast i am seeking for your
assistance to transfer this fund to your country if you will not betray
me when the money gets into your country for investment?so i can also
relocate to your country to further my study and i am willing to offer
you 15% of the total sum for your help.