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:
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "any lucrative business in your country" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Faraa Mensah <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Faraa Mensah <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2018 00:42:33 +0900 (JST)
Subject: I needs your concern
May the blessings of God be upon you and grant you the sympathy to understand my situation and the reason why I need your help. My name is Ms.Faraa Mensah, am the only child of my late parents. This message might come to you as a surprise but right now this is my only option of communicating with you.
Due to my current situation here, I am seeking for your partnership and assistance to intercede on my behalf to retrieve and secure my inheritance funds from my late father to your bank account for investments over there in your country.
My father was poisoned to death by unknown person, when he was alive he has a Fixed deposit of funds in the bank of which my name was placed as his next of kin and he reach an agreement with bank that in any eventuality I should have direct access to the funds only when I am 25 years of age, otherwise I should have a guardian/partner from oversea to intercede on my behalf to secured the funds in oversea for investments purpose.
In my culture when a man dies, if he does not have a male child, the brothers share his properties leaving the wife and the daughters empty handed. This is the exact case with me right now, I lost my mother when I was barely a year old and my father refused to re-marry another wife despite all persuasion to re-marry, because he felt solely responsible for my mother's death, as he was only concentrated on his business that is why he rarely pays attention to domestic/family affairs.
Unfortunately I am currently only 20 years of age of which bank have refuse me direct access from this funds despite my present predicaments, That is why I am contacting you to stand and intercede on my behalf as my guardian so that bank can release and transfer this fund to your bank account for you to help me investments the fund in any lucrative business in your country while I locate over there to continue my studies.
Please I am contacting you for this offer based on trust and your understanding and am hoping that you will find it interesting to assist me.
Please if you are interested kindly give me your full assurance to proceed, it is all 100% legal and risk free hence you will follow the instruction give from the bank to transfer and secure the fund into your account for investment purpose, on your confirmation of this message please indicate your interest
I have made up my mind to offer you 20% from the total fund for your kind effort for assisting me once the successful transfer into your bank account and the rest of the funds will invest and manage in any profitable business of your choice, while I continue my studies in your country. Please endeavor to let me know your decision to proceed.