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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united state 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)
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Ruth James <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 9 May 2020 22:11:07 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: My Dear Friend,
My Dear Friend,
My name is Miss. Ruth James. I am a British Citizen, currently living in Abidjan Cote D' Ivoire located in West Africa. I am a banker by profession and in our bank I am a senior accountant. Now I have a confidential issue that I would like to discuss with you.
In the year 2011 there was civil war in this country Cote dâIvoire and during the war many people were killed, and one of our customer was killed including his entire family was wiped out by the military army that supported formal president.
The deceased customer was a citizen of France nationality and he worked as an expatriate well Engineer with SHELL Petroleum Company and before his death he deposited $36,000,000 million United State Dollars in our bank.
I am the only person that control bank system computer, during my research I found out that our customer was killed together with his next of kin and his entire family was wipe out by the military army that was supporting formal president. Through my research I also found out that there was nobody left in his family who can claim the fund.
Now I am contacting you to assist me in repatriating the money and Property left behind by my client before they get Confiscated by the bank, the amount is $36.000.000 million U.S Dollars/ Thirty Six Million United State Dollars.
I want to present you to the bank as original next of kin to deceased customer so that we can claim the fund in the deceased account valued at $36.000.000 million U.S Dollars/ Thirty Six Million United State Dollars so that bank can paid the fund into your account and then you and I can share the money, 50% for me and 50% for you.
I have all the necessary legal information that can be used to backup our claim. All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable this deal through.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the Law.
Please all our communications should be confidential for security purposes. The Crisis of this country you can read the news here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-11916590
Please contact me through my private email for more information: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am waiting for your quick response
My best regards
Miss. Ruth James.