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 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "cotonou" (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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sandra" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 5 Jan 2019 17:24:13 -0800
Subject: Happy New Year!
My dear ,
I know that we haven't known or see each other face to face before considering the fact that i saw your profile contact through the search of trusted person who can assist me urgently and save my life.
my name is Sandra Ghazi 29 years old female from the republic of cote Ivoire in west Africa i am the only daughter of late Dr, ABNER GHAZI . my late father was a businessman. my father was brutally shot dead on February 2017 after having problem with his elder brother concerning his plastic company.
i am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment which i am receiving from my step mother as she's the wife of my late father elder brother. she planned to take away all my late father's treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of my beloved father. meanwhile i wanted to travel to Europe but she hide away my international passport and other valuable documents. luckily she did not discover where i kept my father's file which contained important documents. now i am presently staying in the refugee camp in COTONOU and you can also reach me through the reverend father Joseph, telephone +22962806838, Please if you call tell him that you want speak with me Sandra Ghazi from ivory coast in room 216,
please i am seeking for long term relationship and investment assistance. my father of blessed memory deposited the sum of $4.5 million united state dollars in one leading bank with my name as the next of kin.
i had contacted the bank to clear the deposit but the bank manager told me that being a refugee, my status according to the law does not authorized me to carry out the operation. however, he advised me to provide a trustee who will stand on my behalf for the claim of the fund, i had wanted to inform my stepmother about this deposit but i am afraid that she will not offer me anything after the release of the money.
therefore, i decide to seek for your help in transferring the money into your bank account while i will relocate to your country and stay with you. as you indicated your interest to help me i will give you the contact of the bank where my late beloved father deposited the money with my name as the next of kin. It is my intention to compensate you with 30% of the total money for your assistance and the balance shall be my investment in any profitable venture which you will recommend to me as i have no any idea about foreign investment.
please all communications should be through this email private address only for confidential purposes.
thanking you a lot in anticipation of your quick response. i will give you details in my next mail after receiving your acceptance mail to help me.
Miss Sandra Ghazi