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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Telma" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2019 04:15:04 +0300
Subject: Can you take my Daughter as yours?.
From Mrs. Telma Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
I know that this letter may come to you as surprise, I came across your email contact from my personal search and I decided to reveal this life time secret to you as i prayed hard before i sent you this email.. I believe that you will be honest and sincere to fulfill my final wish before I will die. I am Abidjan, Ivory Coast from (kuwait), but work in (Lhasa) Ivory Coast, West-Africa since eight years ago as a business woman dealing with gold exportation, I am 54 years old now suffering from a long time cancer of breast.
From all indication my condition is really deteriorating, and my doctors have courageously advised me that i may not live beyond the next One month, this is because the cancer stage has reached a critical stage i have only one daughter age of 16 years old. My husband died in a fatal motor accident some years back, since his death i decided not to re- marry because of my bad health. Before the death of my husband, he deposited the sum of $4,400,000 million dollar in the bank,
I want you to assist me in order to claim the fund from the bank, the sum of Four Million Four Hundred Thousand United States Dollars as my husband's foreign business partner, after you have received the Fund to your account in your country, you will then adopt my only daughter to your country for continuation of her education. Keep 20% of the money for yourself for your help to my only daughter and invest the rest of the money in my daughter's name. I believe you are in a better position to help me claim the Fund from the Bank. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank where the Fund is deposited. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here. If you are interested kindly reply immediately so I have Sworn Affidavit in your name as my only appointed Beneficiary of this fund.
Hope to hear from you soonest.