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 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Olivia Mabor <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Olivia Mabor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 13:12:14 +0000 (UTC)
I am glad to contact you this way, and i believe this message will meet you in cheerfulness.
My name is Olivia Mabor, from South Sudan.
I had three children, but my husband and two of my children was killed during the political mayhem in my country, the rebels attacked my family house, and killed my husband and two other children, and burnt the house, in Juba, South Sudan.
I and my little son were not at home in that incident, so I decided to come direct to Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire, with the help of United Nation Refugee Agency.
Why I am writing you this message is because, my late husband, late Dr. Samson Mabor left $7.4 million, the money is a Bank, in Abidjan here.
I want you to assist me, because a foreign partner is needed to receive the fund in his account abroad, that is what the director told me, and that is how my late husband designed with the Bank, when he deposited the fund.
I have agreed to offer you 30% of the entire fund (Seven million, Four hundred thousand United States dollars) and you will help me to invest the remaining 70% with your company, or anyplace good enough for the investment.
I await your reply, and please, tell me more about your self.
Thanks and sincerely.
Mrs. Olivia Mabor.