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.
Fraud email example:
From: Raphael Kamara <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2021 11:05:13 +0100
Subject: Season greetings,
Compliment of the season! I am very much pleased to reach you by faith
believing that you will accept this appeal for help and investment in good
faith. I am Raphael Kamara; the son of late Chief Vincent Kamara and I am a
17 years old boy from Freetown Province in Sierra Leone. I am in the
position of US$7.5 Million which my late father deposited in fixed with a
bank in Cote d'Ivoire which he wanted to use finance his presidential
political ambition in our Country before he was affected with these deadly
corona viruses in his business trip to France in October 2021 that led to
his sudden death. This money was realized from royalties and the alluvial
gold dust sold during the war when my father was the Chief of Freetown
Province, Republic of Sierra Leone.
As his only child, I am presently taking refuge in Ivory Coast following
the death of my father and my stepmother was desperately after my life
because of my late father's wealth which he used my name as the only Son to
deposit the money in the bank as the next of kin. I have decided to invest
this money in your country or anywhere safe enough outside Africa for
security and personal reasons. I seek your assistance to claim this money
and have it moved out of this country to enable you to assist me plan for
the investment outside this country so as to enable me to plan for my
future. I will give you 15% of the money for your kind assistance to me. I
will give you further details as soon as I hear from you. Please, I wait
for your response.