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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Miss Aaren Coul." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2019 19:43:20 +0200
Subject: Hello My Dear One.
Hello My Dearest, Please your urgent help is needed.
I beg of you not to be annoyed with me for disturbing your peace with
this message; but I kindly ask of your permission to explain myself to
you. I know that it is not it is not safe for me to communicate with you
over the internet, but I have no other choice and means of reaching you
except by this means as it is the only thing I can lay hand on as means
of contacting you.
I am Miss Aaren Ib Coulibaly, and I am24 years old female from the
Republic of Ivory Coast, in West Africa. I'm the Daughter of Late Chief
I.B Coulibaly (also known as General I.B). My late Father was a well
known Ivory Coast military leader. He died on Thursday 28 April 2011(a
date I will never forget in my life) and this was as a result of a fight
with the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast (FRCI).You can read more about
my father in the link below:
I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment which I am
receiving from my step mother. She planned to take away my entire late
father's treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of
my beloved Father, because my mother died when she was giving-birth and
I was left alone with my step mother to take care of me. Meanwhile I
wanted to travel to Europe, but she hide-away my traveling documents.
Fortunately she did not discover where I kept my father's File which
contained important documents (The will and Deposit Certificate) of my
Father's fund which bears my name as the next of kin to inherit the
money in his foreign bank account. Due to her aggressions on me, I
decided to snick away to Republic of south Africa, Now I am presently
staying in the South African Diplomatic Refugee Mission Camp, I am
seeking for your help(relationship) and investment assistance. My father
of blessed memory deposited the sum of US$20.5 Million in his foreign
bank account with the First National bank of South Africa (FNB) with my
name as the next of kin and owner of the fund.
I have contacted the Bank here in South Africa to clear the deposit but
the head of the bankâs international wire-transfer Manager told me that
my late father place an instruction on the deposited fund that I must
present a foreign trustee who will help me for investment of the fund,
just due to my young age as at the time of the deposit.
Finally my dear beloved, my reason of contacting you is just because I
decide to seek for your help in transferring the money into your bank
account while I will relocate to your country and settle down as the
fund is invested. Once you indicate your interest to help me, I will
give you the contact details of Bank branch manager where my late
beloved father deposited the money with my name as the next of kin. It
is my intention to compensate you with 25% out of the total money after
the transfer and extra 5% for any expenses you will make, for your
assistance and the balance shall be my investment in any profitable
business which you will recommend to me as I have no idea about foreign
investment. Please all my communications with you should be through my
email address; for confidential purposes as for now and I will provide
you with my phone numbers once I managed to get any phone with me.
Please keep everything confidential until this money goes to your
Thank you as I wait for your positive response.
Miss Aaren.CoulibalyMy email is this (email@example.com)