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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Ms Nina Johnson <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:25:16 +0000
Subject: Hello Dear
From Ms Nina Johnson
Lot 50 Blvd du Marseille.
Bietry Zone 4.
Abidjan Cote D' Ivoire.
Good day to you, I hope my mail meets you in good health. Please do
not be surprise to receive this letter. hoping that by the grace of
God you will successfully assist me out from my situation after my
seven days and fasting over seeking for an guardians. I am Miss Nina
Johnson, (20 years old) the only daughter of (late chief Nado Johnson)
who was a famous and wealthy cocoa merchant based in Abidjan, the
economic capital of ivory coast.
I am seeking for your urgent attention to help me transfer the sum of
(8,900,000.00) Eight million nine hundred united state dollar into
your nominated bank account oversea as an investments purposes, such
as real estates managements and stock markets. The fund was deposited
in fixed suspense account. please i am willing to offer you 20% out of
this my total fund as your commission for your urgent assistance to
Please kindly contact me immediately for more important details
concerning this my Inherited money,
I am honorably seeking your assistance in the following ways:
(1) I will use it for investment purpose such as Music industries or
(2) To provide a bank account into which this money would be transferred to.
(3) To serve as a guardian of this fund since I am only 20years.
(4) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further
my education and to secure a resident permit in your country.
Awaiting your immediate response in my private email so that i will
send some documents of prove and the contact of bank where my late
father deposited my inherited money,
Please Reply Me Back
i Pray that God will be with us