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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Elvi Meigh <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Elvi Meigh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 01:55:01 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dear One,
I am Ms. Elvi Meigh, the only daughter of late Mr. and Miss Elvi Meigh My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant inAbidjan; the economic capital of Ivory Coast, my father was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip.
My mother died when I was a baby and since then my father took me so special. Before the death of my father in a private hospital here in Abidjan he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of Ten million, five hundred thousand United State Dollars. USD ($10,500,000.00) left in fixed / suspense account in one of the prime bank here in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) that he used my name as his only child for the next of Kin in depositing of the fund.
He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth
that he was poisoned by his business associates that I should seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where i will transfer this money and use it for investment purpose such as real estate management or hotel management.
Dear, I am honorably seeking your assistance in the following ways:
(1) To provide a bank account into which this money would be transferred to.
(2) To serve as a guardian of this fund since I am only 18years.
(3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a resident permit in your
Moreover, i am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/ input after the successful transfer of this fund into your nominated account overseas. Furthermore, you indicate your options towards assisting me as I believe that this transaction would be concluded within four days you signify interest to assist
Anticipating hearing from you soon.