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: Celine Coulibaly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Celine Coulibaly <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2017 00:37:22 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Form Miss Celine Coulibaly
I am writing to you seeking your assistance to retrieve my
fund from security company for investment. Frankly, I need your advice
on a matter of great concern.
I have a fund which was kept in
security company but I am not the original depositor I inherited it from
my late parents which by law I am now the rightful owner as next of kin
and I believe that I have come to an age to process for the transfer of
the fund from the security company and arrange for investment as you
and I may desire. I believe your person has a reputation such as this
and I request your intervention to assist me in the timely resolution of
I feel obliged to contact you for your assistance
and hope for your guidance as to the content thereof. I would be most
grateful for your thoughts and advice on this most sensitive matter.
I look forward to hearing from you to discuss
this. I thank you for your assistance with this matter.
Miss Celine Coulibaly