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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: mirabel eddy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2021 00:27:06 +1200
I am Mrs.Mirabel Eddy. Am an aging widow suffering from long term
illness(breast cancer) I am currently admitted in a private hospital
here in Abidjan cote d'Ivoire, I have some amount of money I inherited
from my late loving husband Mr.Gilbert Eddy. The total sum of
(US$6.5M) which he deposited in one of the Banks Here and I need an
honest and God
fearing person who has the feelings of human that can use these
funds for Charity purposes and 20% out of the total sum will be for
your compensation for doing this work of God. Please if you would be
able to use these funds for the said purpose kindly reply to me.
Please your religion does not matter to me, What matters most is using
the money with the fear of Almighty God, Your urgent reply will be