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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "your urgent reply" (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 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: Guei Mariam <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2021 02:13:34 -0700
Subject: Hello dear
Good day my dear. Forgive me for writing you a message this way. I have a
serious problem and there is no other option for me. I am Miss Mariam Guei
from Cote d'Ivoire, the only child of my parents Late Mr. Toure Guei. I
wish to request for your urgent assistance in my investment plans in your
My father was a politician and he is also a very good businessman dealing
with gold and cocoa merchants in Accra Ghana and Abidjan (Ivory Coast), he
was poisoned to death by his business associates during one of their
business trips recently.
Before his sudden death.My father called me on his bedside at the hospital
and told me that he has a sum of Six Million Five Hundred Thousand United
State Dollar ($6.5 Million USD) deposited in one of the banks here in
Abidjan Ivory Coast, my father told me that he used my name for the next of
kin when he was depositing the fund for security reasons.
My uncle has seized all my late father's properties of which he wants me to
provide every other document related to my late father's bank deposit but I
Now my uncle is going around looking for me to collect all the documents
that cover this money, my late father told me to never show it to anybody,
that the documents are my only hope. I need your help out of this country
immediately before my uncle will kill me.
Contact me through this email : firstname.lastname@example.org
I am waiting your urgent reply