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:
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Olivia Mabor" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 5 Sep 2017 02:46:26 -0700
I am happy to contact you by this way, and i believe this message will meet you with good health and happiness.
My name is Mrs. Olivia Mabor, I was married to late Dr. Samson Mabor, from South Sudan.
I had three children, but my husband and two of our children was killed during the political crisis in my country, the rebels attacked our house, and killed my husband and two other children, and burnt the house and everything in it, in Juba, South Sudan.
I and my little son flee from South Sudan, and we arrived to Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire, with the help of United Nation Refugee Agency.
Why I am writing you this email is because, there is some money my late husband left, $7.7 million, this money is deposited with a security firm in Abidjan here, for safe keeping.
I want you to assist me, because a foreign partner is needed to sign and get the consignment (fund) released, as designed by my late husband.
I have agreed to offer you 30% of the entire fund (Seven million, seven hundred thousand United States dollars) and you will help me to invest the remaining 70% too.
I await your reply email, to confirm your willingness and readiness to assist me.
Thanks and sincerely.
Mrs. Olivia Mabor.