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:
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "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: "Hamiza Kovasam" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 26 May 2017 03:23:12 -0400
Subject: RE: CAN I TRUST YOU WITH THIS MUTUAL BENEFIT PROJECT?
Dear beloved friend,
I know that this letter may be a very big surprise to you, I came across your email contact from my personal search and decided to write to you concerning my deposited fund, so that the bank will transfer this money to your account I am Mrs Hamiza Kovasam from Estonia,
But Married to Mr Sabastin Kovasam in Abidjan Cote D,Ivoire, i am 45 years old woman with one Child call Victor, i am Sick and suffering from a long time cancer of the breast, which affected my speaking organ. From all indication my condition is really deteriorating, and my doctors is making all effort to save my life.
Because the cancer stage has reached a critical stage but i am contacting you to help me receive this US$5.6M dollars (Five million six hundred thousand dollars) which my Late husband deposit with the bank here before his die enable ME AND MY SON come to your country because my Late husband brothers have claim all my property but the did not know about this money deposit with the bank i have all the document with here in the hospital where i am taking treatment.
Please get back to me Im with my laptop here in the hospital where I have been undergoing treatment. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have being trying everything humanly possible but God knows the best.
I will need your help to receive this US$5.6 Million dollars to your account so that me and my son will come to your country my son will Continue his Education and i will take a better treatment over and you help us invest this FUND in any good lucrative business in your country because this money is the only hope of our life. As soon as I receive your reply i will give you more information how to contact the bank to release the money to your account Awaiting your reply,
Yours in Christ,
Mrs Hamiza Kovasam