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:
- "million 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 orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: MISSMARIA BERNARD <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2018 22:11:30 -0500
Subject: CAN I REALLY TRUST YOU THAT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SCAM ME OUT OF MY MONEY?
GREETINGS TO YOU I HOPE I MEET YOU IN A GOOD SPIRIT MY NAME IS MARIA BERNARD, AM 18 YEARS OLD I'M THE ONLY SURVIVING CHILD OF MY LATE PARENTS MR AND MRS NELSON BERNARD.I LOST MY PARENTS AND MY ONLY KID BROTHER MYSTERIOUSLY ON A CAR ACCIDENT ON THEIR TRIP TO IVORY COAST WERE MY DADDY RUNS HIS OIL FIRM(COMPANY) WHICH I WAS SO LUCKY THAT I WAS NOT IN THE CAR WITH THEM THAT FAITH FRIDAY MORNING ON 27TH JULY 2012 THEIR DEATH HAS COST ME SO MUCH PAINS PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY BECAUSE I WAS JUST 13YEARS WHEN I LOST THEM AND EVER SINCE THEN,I HAVE BEEN STAYING WITH MY LATE FATHER'S BROTHER MR EDWIN BERNARD WHO HAS BEEN TREATING ME LIKE A SLAVE IN MY OWN FATHER HOUSE EVER SINCE I LOST MY PARENT'S I HAVE BEEN SERVING MY UNCLE AS A SERVANT FROM THE FIRST DAY HE PARKED IN TO CLAIM ALL MY LATE FATHER'S INVESTMENTS.
MY LATE FATHER IS A WELL KNOWN MAN IN BENIN REPUBLIC BECAUSE OF HIS PERSONALITY IN THE BUSINESS WORLD WHICH HIS BROTHERS HAVE END UP SHARING AND MISUSED IT BECAUSE OF THEIR GREEDINESS AND LACK OF EDUCATION ALL THEY WANT IS TO SHARE THE PROPERTY WHICH THEY HAVE SUCCEEDED TO ACHIEVED.
I HAVE BEEN LIVING A SORROWFUL AND LONELY LIFE OVER HERE SINCE THE INCIDENT I WAS BIT YOUNGER AS I SAID BEFORE AND EARLIER LAST YEAR 15TH OF JANUARY 2017 I DISCOVERED A DEPOSIT CERTIFICATE IN MY LATE FATHER'S ABANDONED STATIONERY WHICH STATED THAT THE CERTIFICATE PROVES THAT MY LATE FATHER HAS MADE IN A DEPOSIT IN A BANK CALLED (BICICI BANK PLC ABIDJAN IN IVORY ) A DEPOSIT WORTH OF EIGHT MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS ($8.500 000. 00 MILLION DOLLARS) IN IVORY COAST WERE HE WAS RUNNING HIS OIL BUSINESS ON MARCH 06|03|2011.
I HAVE GONE TO THE BANK TO MAKE NECESSARY VERIFICATION ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF THE FUNDS AND I'M SO GLAD AND HAPPY THAT THE BANK MANAGER OF THE BICICI BANK HAS IT POSITIVE AND EXISTING THAT IS THE REASON WHY I CONTACTED YOU SO THAT I CAN INTRODUCE YOU TO THE BANK AS MY PARTNER SO THAT THE (BICICI BANK) CAN LET ME HAVE ACCESS TO MY FUNDS BECAUSE THEY SAID THAT THEY CAN NOT RELEASE THE MONEY TO ME UNTIL I GET SOMEONE TO BACK ME UP AS PARTNER JUST BECAUSE OF MY YOUNG AGE BEFORE THEY CAN TRANSFER THE FUNDS TO ANY FOREIGN ACCOUNT, I REALLY NEED TO RELOCATE FROM MY COUNTRY TO HAVE A NEW LIFE ABROAD AND SOMEHOW A NEW FAMILY IF YOU CAN ACCEPT ME AS YOUR DAUGHTER.I WILL RECOMMEND YOU TO THE BICICI BANK DIRECTOR AS MY PARTNER AND SOMEONE I HAVE CHOSEN AS THE BENEFICIARIES OF MY FUNDS WHO I HAVE ALSO CHOSEN TO HELP ME PROTECT AND INVEST ON MY FUNDS WHEN I RELOCATE TO YOUR COUNTRY.Y OUR SUGGESTIONS AND IDEAS WILL BE HIGHLY REGARDED
FINALLY, I HAVE SOME QUESTION'S TO ASK YOU PLEASE
(1)WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT IN QUESTION WILL BE GOOD FOR YOU AFTER THE MONEY HAS COMPLETELY TRANSFER TO YOUR ACCOUNT?
(2)ARE YOU COMPLETELY GIVING ME YOUR TRUST THAT YOU WILL NOT DENY ME MY FUNDS IF IT'S TRANSFER TO YOUR
ACCOUNT BECAUSE OF MY AGE?
(3)CAN I REALLY TRUST YOU THAT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SCAM ME OUT OF MY MONEY?
(4)ARE YOU WILLING TO HELP ME BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO HELP MY SELF TO GET THE MONEY RELEASE WITHOUT YOUR FULL ASSISTANT?
PLEASE CONSIDER THIS AND LET ME KNOW YOUR MIND AS SOON AS POSSIBLE IMMEDIATELY I HEAR FROM YOU FOR YOUR WILLINGNESS. I WILL SEND TO YOU MY PICTURE AND THE DOCUMENT YOU NEEDED TO SEE OKAY