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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "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: Jessica <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2022 15:16:42 +0100
Subject: Hello can you stand for me?
>From Jesicca Marie Koni
I am writing this mail to you with tears and sorrow from my heart, I know
that this mail might come to you as a surprise because you don't know me
and I don't know you either.
My name is Ms Jessica Marie Koni, I am 21 years old and am the only
Daughter of late Chief Mr. Alphonse Badel Koni a cocoa farmer and later
adviser to Alassane Ouattara President winner of the election at that time,
after a suspected assassination by man loyal and sent by former president
Laurent Gbagbo. As a matter of fact, I am the one in the family who knows
about the money and were he deposited it in a bank here in Abidjan, the
economic capital of Ivory Coast, that is why i do contact you to help to
get this fund transferred to your country so that you will secure it for me
and re-invest. I have the documents of this deposit with me which I will
send to you upon receiving your response, i am only seeking your urgent
attention to transfer this sum of ($14,500,000.00) United States Dollars
into your bank account.
The banker told me that now my father is dead, what do I intend to do with
the fund? I told him that I will seek a trusted partnership abroad who
will assist me to move this money to any country of my choice for
investment once I am ready the partner will contact them. This is 100% risk
free and I will give you 20% of the total amount involved. If you are
interested I will send you the full confidential details of the deposit as
a good partner that I can trust to assist me. Can I trust you in this
transaction? If you receive this letter, kindly send me an e-mail
signifying your interest.
I am honorably seeking your assistance in the following ways: Please, to
serve as the guardian of this fun since I am a girl of 21 years and be able
to start a new life and secure my future in your country.
Thanks and God Bless.
Ms Jesicca Marie Koni