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: Tina Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Tina Johnson <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 26 May 2017 18:25:59 +0900 (JST)
Greetings to you my dear, please permit me to introduce myself to you, I'm Miss Tina Johnson only daughter of late Dr.Mark Johnson im 20 years old
As I am writing you and recently My Beloved Dad who join his ancestors through the hands of evil politicianas who accused my father of supporting the past president Laurent Gbagbo who is now in prison in Holland and since then the rebels and supporters of the present government are seeking a way to eliminate my life after assassinating my father and by the grace of God I except from the hands of the rebels and ran to hide in Capital city of our country Abidjan IVORYCOAST for
security of my life.
My father left a big amount of money with the bank USD 6.5 MILLION DOLLARS, and I don't know about this, it was on the 10th of October last year
that our family lawyer kindly hand over to me the documents covering the deposit and the WILL my father wrote and the instruction on how I will utilize the money, Meanwhile I don't know what actually what to do with this money because of shattered brain and life line, that is why I contacted you so that you can help me and also help or give me suggestion how I will handle the inheritance and also help me to transfer this fund to your account over in your country for security of my life and the fund because right here i am scared of my life due to the threat by the supporters of the present president
My dear after the conclusion of the transfer of the money I will come over to your country to have peace and security and also to continue my education while you will search for a good business to invest the money,
Please it is a long story that if I started to narrate all of them to you, you will start shedding tears over there, but I will
give you more details in your next mail but kindly bear in mind that I need you to help me out of this my bad condition and help transfer this money to your account and assist me come over there for security of my life and the fund and start a new life and destiny.
I am anxiously waiting for your kind response
Thanks once again and please extend my greeting to your family.
Thanks and God bless you
Miss Tina Johnson