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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "i will like you to " (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Helmi Mohammed" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2011 11:55:56 -0500
Subject: I AM STILL WAITING TO HEAR FROM ??
MY NAME IS HELMI MOHAMED SAID AND I WORKED AS AN AID WITH THE JUST OUSTED
EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT,HOSNI MUBARAK.IN THE PROCESS I HAD HELPED THE MUBARAK'S
FAMILY LAUNDERED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OVERSEAS, BEFORE THE PRESIDENT HANDED
OVER TO THE MILITARY ON SATURDAY THE 12, FEBRUARY, 2011 AFTER 18DAYS PROTEST
WHICH I PERSONALLY ADVISED HIM AGAINST.
THE MAIN REASON I AM WRITING TO YOU IS BASED ON $18,500,000 (EIGHTEEN MILLION
FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS) WHICH I MOVED OVERSEAS, WITHOUT ANYBODY TO HELP
ME CLAIM AND INVEST IT IN SUCH A WAY THAT NOBODY WILL KNOW THAT THE MONEY EVER
EXISTED OR EVEN BELONGS TO THE MUBARAK FAMILY.
DUE TO MY CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MUBARAK'S, I ASSISTED THE FAMILY IN
MOVING SOME OF THEIR MONEY TO EUROPE, WHERE THE PRESENT MILITARY GOVERNMENT
WILL NOT HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE OF ITS EXISTENCE AND THIS AMOUNT IS WHAT WAS
SHARED TO ME IN MY LAST TRANSACTION WITH THE MUBARAK WHEN I HELP MOVED AND
DEPOSITED LARGE SUM IN A BANK IN SWITZERLAND LAST WEEK.
I AM ASKING FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO HELP ME PROCEED AND CLAIM THIS FUND WHICH
WAS MOVED AND DEPOSITED IN EUROPE, AND KEEP MY SHARE SAFE FOR ME UNTIL THIS
WHOLE SITUATION CALMS DOWN BECAUSE OUR MOVES RIGHT NOW IS BEING MONITORED SO I
JUST CAN'T DO ANYTHING NOW ON MY OWN AND AS SOON AS YOU CLAIM THE FUND FROM
WHERE IT IS DEPOSITED I WILL THEN INSTRUCT YOU ON HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH MY
WIFE AND TWO KIDS WHOM I HAVE MOVED OUT OF EGYPT BECAUSE OUR PASSPORT HAS BEEN
SEIZED FOR US NOT TO LEAVE THIS COUNTRY AND OUR MOVEMENTS RIGHT NOW IS BEING
MONITORED WHICH MAKES IT VERY DIFFICULT FOR ME TO GET OUT OF EGYPT NOW,OF
WHICH I WILL GIVE YOU 25% OF THE MONEY FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE.
FURTHER DETAILS OF THIS IMPENDING TRANSACTION WILL BE MADE AS SOON AS YOU SHOW
INTEREST IN ASSISTING ME AND FOR NOW WE SHOULD COMMUNICATE ONLY THROUGH THE
EMAIL MEDIUM BECAUSE OUR CALLS ARE PRESENTLY BEING MONITORED BY THE NEW
MILITARY GOVERNMENT AND WE WILL ONLY USE THE TELEPHONE WHEN IT IS EXTREMELY
I WILL LIKE YOU TO PUT IN MIND THAT THIS PROJECT IS 100% LEGAL AND RISK FREE
AND FOR CONFIDENTIAL REASONS I WILL ADVISE YOU REPLY TO MY PRIVATE EMAIL ON:
helmimohammed@mail2Egypt.com FOR A QUICK RESPONSE.
HELMI MOHAMED SAID.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE MUBARAK'S SITUATION GO TO THE FOLLOWING LINKS: