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:
- "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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "From Miss. sonia konan" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2022 08:04:59 +0000
Subject: ASSISTANCE TO INVEST IN YOUR COUNTRY
From Miss. sonia konan
PLOT 124 RUE 19 COCODY 01.
ABIDJAN COTE D'IVOIRE.
ASSISTANCE TO INVEST IN YOUR COUNTRY
For sure this mail would definitely come to you as a surprise, but do
take your good time to
go through it, My name is miss sonia konan wattao. I lost my father a
year and couple of months ago. My father was a serving director of the
Agro-exporting board until his death.
He was assassinated by the rebels during the political uprising in my
Country. Before his death, he made a deposit of US$25.5 Million
Dollars here in Cote d'ivoire which was for the purchase of cocoa
processing machine and development of another factory before his
Being that this part of the world experiences political crises time
without number, there is no guarantee of lives and properties. I
cannot invest this money here any long, despite the fact that it had
been my late fathers industrial plans.
I want you to do me a favor to receive this funds into your country or
any safer place as the beneficiary, I have plans to invest this money
in continuation with the investment vision of my late father, but not
in this place again rather in your country. I have the vision of going
into real estate and industrial production or any profitable business
I am compensating you with 15% of the total Amount, now all my hope is
banked on you and I really wants to invest this money in your country,
where there is stability of Government, political and economic
I will be waiting for your urgent response as to give you more details.
Thanks and remain blessed
Miss. sonia konan