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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "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: Mary Simon <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2021 15:48:37 +0000
Subject: Hello My Dear Friend.
Hello My Dear Friend.
It is my pleasure to contact you for a business which am intend to
establish in your country. Though I have not met with you before but I
believe one has to risk to succeed sometimes in life.
I can confide on you for the brighter future of my life since you are a
human being like me. But what I need from you is Truth, Trust and Honest.
There is this huge amount of Five (5 Million Dollars) which my late Father
Deposited for me in the Bank here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire as his next of
kin before he died out of sickness.
Now" I decided to invest this money in your country or any where safe
enough for security and political reasons.
I want you to help me to transfer my inheritance money into your personal
account in your country for investment purposes on these areas:
2). The Transport Industry
3). Five Star Hotel
4). Real Estate
5). Company Enterprise
If you can be of an assistance to me, I will be pleased to offer to you 30%
of the total fund.
I will be humbly waiting your soonest response.
Miss Mary Simon.