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.
- 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 (Homemail, South Africa; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Aareen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2021 06:39:24 +0200
Hello My Dearest,
Consider my mail even though this might be a nuisance to you; Most
definitely you might have recieved similar messages of my kind on regular
I am Miss Aaren Ib Coulibaly, and I am 24 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).You can read more about my father in
the link below:
I am really in need of help because of my step mother. She planned to take
away my entire late father's treasury and properties from me since the
unexpected death of my Father, because my mother died when she was
giving-birth to 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 of my Father's
fund which bears my name as the next of kin to inherit the money in his
foreign bank account. Now I am presently staying in the South African
Diplomatic Refugee Mission Camp, I am seeking for your help(relationship)
and investment assistance.
My late father deposited the sum of US$7.5 Million in account with BIDVEST
BANK of South Africa (BIDVEST) with my name as the next of kin and owner of
I have contacted the Bank 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 reason of contacting you is just i wish to transfer the money
into your bank account while I will relocate to your country as the fund is
invested. Once you indicate your interest to help me, I will give you the
contact details of Bank branch manager for details.
Please keep everything confidential until this money goes to your account.
Miss Aaren. Coulibaly My email is this (email@example.com)