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:
- "hundred thousand u.s 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: SIMON ZANELLI <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2020 12:17:05 +0000
Subject: PLEASE DO NOT FAIL ME LIKE THEM.
PLEASE DO NOT FAIL ME LIKE THEM.
Out of desperation i contact you though we have not met before nor know each
other but i choose to take this risk after fervent prayers,still
praying that you will not betray nor fail me ?.
My name is Simon Zanelli Simoddu and only adopted child of
Chief Dr . MANSARAY SIMODDU.My late adoptive father was a gold
and cocoa merchant that operated here in Africa and Europe.
It is sad to say that he passed away early this year in France due to
the pandemic COVID-19 Corona Virus.
His visit to France was for the establishment of his international
cocoa - coffe industry here in my country.
After his death, my adoptive uncles, relatives etc jumped in and confiscated
all on his properties, money etc, i was thrown out of the house and
called a bastard because i was adopted and when i tried to seek redress,
several attempts were made to assasinate me, consequently i flee our
home in the BouakÃ©, the northern part of Cote d'Ivoire for my life.
However, before the death of my adoptive father, he told me of his
mission of establishing a international cocoa - coffe industry here
in my country. He also told me of the
SUM OF FOUR MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND U.S DOLLARS
that he earmarked and already safeguarded for this project. Thank goodness
that my adoptive relatives are not aware of the existence this money.
All I need from you, regardless of your race, sex,
if you are honest,reliable and capable,is for you to assist me to recover this
money that my late adoptive father deposited and safeguard it in your
private bank account.
All my hope is banked on contacting an honest,reliable and capable person
as i really want to invest this money in ANY country where their is stability
of Government, political and economic welfare while i go back to school to
continue my education,considering my present deplorable
situation in this country.
Please do respond to me if you are honest, willing and capable of
assisting me ?.
I will offer you 15 % of the total sum and in case of any other
necessary expenses you
might incur,I am resolving to give you an additional 2% of the total sum.
Thanks and waiting to hear from you as soon as possible to give you
more details ?.