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:
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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: Stephanie Loe <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2019 16:23:55 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: From Stephanie Leo!
From Stephanie Leo!
I am writing you this message with tears and sorrow and I know this mail may come to you as a surprise, I am Stephanie Leo. The only daughter. My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in Abidjan Ivory Coast (Cote Ivoire) 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 in a private hospital here in Abidjan he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of (7,500000.00) seven million five Hundred thousand US Dorella, left in fixed / suspense account in one of the international bank here in Abidjan, he used my name as his only daughter for the next of Kin in depositing of the fund. My late father instructed me to 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.
I am honorably seeking for your assistance in the following ways:(1) To provide a bank account in which this money would be transferred to .(2) To serve as my guardian.(3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education.
Note: I am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/ input after the successful transfer of this fund to your nominated bank account. Anticipating hearing from you soon.