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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "is highly confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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: "Ms. Suzanna Duke" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2020 02:07:15 -0800
Subject: Hello Dear,
Good day and hope all is fine. My name is Ms Suzanna Duke (19years)
old and the only daughter of my late parents Chief and Mrs Samara
Duke. I am contacting you because I need your assistance. My father
was a highly reputable business magnet-(a cocoa merchant) who operated
in the capital of Ivory coast during his days. It is sad to say that
he passed away mysteriously here in Ivory Coast as a result of this
civil war here in my country!
My mother died when I was just 6 years old and I did not know much
about her. I am contacting you for help since I am in possession of
some documents covering the deposit of US$6, 500, 000.00 (Six
million, US dollars) which my late father deposited with one of the
leading security companies in Abidjan Cote Ivoire in my name as the
next of Kin. I have verified the transaction with the firm here and
it's confirmed just as my late father declared in the certificate of
deposit which is here with me.
This fund was realized from sales of the alluvial gold dust and cocoa.
I am soliciting for your kind assistance in retrieving and claiming
this fund from the Firm here as my appointed business associate and
have it transferred to your account in your country for investment as
I will make you the beneficiary of the same; after hearing from you.
You will also serve as my guardian as i'm not at all knowledgeable in
the international business world.
I will give you further details as soon as I hear from you, and we
will discuss terms and percentage subsequently but you must treat this
highly confidential for security reason.
Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. Please permit me
to ask these few questions:-
1. Can I completely trust you as the new beneficiary of this fund?
2. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you?
3.Can you help me to further my Education in your Country in a good
4.Can you help me to secured a residence permit in your Country and to
invest this money in a good business with out betrayal? I wait for
your quick reply!
Ms Suzanna Duke