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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "a trustworthy foreign business partner" (the question is not whether they can trust you, but whether you have any reason to trust this person or anyone this person tells you to contact)
- "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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Kenneth & Juliet Williams" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 02 Aug 2017 11:23:09 -0700
Subject: FROM : KENNETH AND JULIET WILLIAMS
FROM : KENNETH AND JULIET WILLIAMS
ABIDJAN COTE DâIVOIRE.
Good day dear
With due respect and heart full of tears we write this letter to solicit your help in migrating to your country, My name is Kenneth Williams and my younger sister Juliet, we are the children of Late General Alexander Williams the former Director of military intelligence and special acting General Manager of the Sierra Leone Diamond mining operation(SLDMC ). I am contacting you to seek your good assistance to transfer and invest USD18 million belonging to my late father which is deposited in a bank in Abidjan. This money is revenues from solid minerals and diamonds sale which were under my fathers possession before the civil war broke out.
Following the brake out of the war, almost all government offices, cooperationâs and prostates were attacked and vandalized. The SLDMC was looted and burnt down to ashes, and diamonds worth millions of dollars was stolen by the rebel military forces who attacked my fathers office. Many top government officials and senior army officers were assassinated and my father was a key target because of his very sensitive military position and appointment in the SLDMC. Regrettably, my father was captured and murdered along with half brother in cool blood during a mid-night rebel shoot-out when our official residence in Freetown was ambushed by Forday Sanko the notorious rebel leader. My mother sustained very sever bullet injuries which resulted to her untimely and painful death in a private hospital here in Ivory Coast.
Now we are alone in a totally strange country without parents, relatives or any body to care for us at our tender ages. Before our mother died, she told us that our father deposited some money which he made from diamond sales and contracts at this bank here in Ivory Coast and that we should pray and find a trustworthy foreign business partner who would help us to transfer and invest this money in profitable business venture overseas. She told us to do this quickly so that we can leave Ivory Coast with our cousin brother-Arthur who is here in the camp with us and, then settle down abroad. She gave us all the bank documents to prove the deposit and then told us that my father used my name as the only son to deposit the money in the bank. She told us that this is the reason why we came to Ivory Coast. My mother died afterwards. May her spirit rest in perfect peace. I have gone to the bank to make inquires about this money and I spoke with the director of International remittance who assured me that the everything is intact and promised to help me transfer this money to my foreign partners bank account as soon as I provide my partners foreign bank account for them. However, the director is very concerned because of my age, I am 16 years and as such promised to help me and he would like to speak with my partner to ensure that this money is invested wisely in only profitable business because of his personal interest and sympathy for me.
Please note that I can only offer you 15% of the total money as compensation for your noble assistance in accordance with my mothers advise. I am interested in any profitable commercial venture which you consider very good in your country and you would also get a school for me, my little sister and cousin so that we can finish our college education. I shall give you more details when I receive your urgent response.
Thanks, and God bless you, give you the wisdom to carry out this great deal. Awaiting anxiously to hear from you so that we can discuss the modalities of this transaction.
I await your immediate response on firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenneth & Juliet Williams