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:
- "necessary legal documents" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Cherif Titi <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2020 04:09:45 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: My Dear
I am Miss cherif Titi,20 years old and the only daughter of my late parents Dr.Richard Tit. My father was a highly reputable real estate developer who operated in the capital city of Ivory coast during his days
It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in UK during one of his business trips abroad year 12th. JUNE 12, 2014. Though his sudden death, But God knows the truth! My mother died when I was just 4 years old,and since then my father took me so special Before his death on JUNE 12, 2014 he called his secretary who accompanied him to the hospital and told him that he has the sum of Nine million,five hundred thousand United State Dollars.(USD$9.500,000) left in bank
He further told him that he deposited the money in my name, and finally issued a written instruction to his lawyer whom he said is in possession of all the necessary legal documents to this fund
I am just 20 years old and a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. Now I want an account overseas where I can transfer this funds. This is because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of incessant political crisis here in Ivory coast. The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life
Dear, I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards,Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded.
Now permit me to ask these few questions:
1. Can you honestly help me as your daughter
2. Can I completely trust you
3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you after the money is in your account
Please contact me with my private email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please,Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible.
My sincere regards,