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:
- "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: Anika Larry <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Anika Larry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2017 10:35:24 +0900 (JST)
Please do not be angry or surprise to receive my letter, i apologize for any inconveniences it may cause you. I am contacting you even though I have not met with you before but due to the situations around me I decided to call upon you for help. I am Miss Anika Larry, from Ivory Coast. My father was killed in Abidjan during the recent political crisis in my country which made me to become an orphan and the only surviving child.
My father was a successful gold and cocoa dealer before his death. My father left the sum of (5.8 Million Euro) in a fixed deposit account in the bank with my name as the next of kin but because of my age as a little girl, the bank needs me to appoint my guardian or caretaker who can receive the money from the bank on my behalf as part of the agreement which the bank signed with my late father during the fund deposit. I want to choose you as guardian and foreign partner and present you to the bank for the money transfer to your account, after the transfer i will come over to your country to continue my study and you will help me to invest the money in good business.
I do not want my wicked uncle to know about the money that is why i cannot choose anybody from my country for this. I promise to reward you with 20% of the money after the successful transfer for your assistance. Please reply so that i will send you all details about me and the money.
Thanks and God bless you.
Miss Anika Larry