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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mabel Manaku <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2019 23:26:48 -0700
Subject: Call for Help
Greetings from Mabel,
I want you to read my letter with one mind and assist an orphan like me to make my dreams comes through in your country where I will invest my inheritance money and live there for the rest of my life.
My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in Abidjan , 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 on November 2015 in a private hospital here in Abidjan he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of 9,000,000 dollars left in one of the prime bank in Abidjan and he used my name as his only Daughter for the next of Kin in depositing of the money.
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 Sir, I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways.
1) To assist me to receive the money in the bank where my late father deposited the money.
2) To serve as a guardian of this fund since I am only 18 years old.
3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a resident permit in your country.
Moreover, sir I am willing to give you 25 percent as compensation for your effort/ you indicate your option towards assisting me as I believe that this transaction would be concluded within seven (7) days you signify interest to assist me. Anticipating to hear from you soon. I am happy to have somebody like you as a gaurdian.
Please reply back to me on my private email address for more details to receive my inheritance money for your investment. email@example.com
Thanks and bless.