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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Hajia Aisha Gaddafi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2011 12:04:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Urgent Response
I am Hajia Aisha Gaddafi the Eldest Daughter to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi the Libya Military Dictator and Embattled Libyan leader. Following the sudden death of my younger brother Saif Gaddafi who died late Saturday 30th April 2011, through the attack of NATO on us in search of our father.
Since the death of my younger brother Saif Gaddafi I have been thrown into a state of utter confusion, frustration and hopelessness by the present Libyan protesters.
However, we have been subjected to physical and psychological torture by the Libyan protesters, NATO team and other international agency, where I lost confidence in almost everybody within the country. You must have heard over the media reports and the internet on the recovery of various huge sums of money deposited by my Embattled father in different security firms in UK & Abroad, some companies willingly give up their secrets and disclosed most of our money confidently lodged there while many out right blackmail. In fact the total sum discovered by the UK and Switzerland Government so far is in the tune of £2 billion. And they are not relenting to make us poor for life due to the disagreement between Gaddafi and the Libyan protesters asking him to step down. I got your contacts from a reliable private search and out of desperation I decided to reach you. I will give you more information as to this regard as soon as you reply. I repose great confidence
in you hence my approach to you due to security network placed on my daily affairs I cannot afford to visit the embassy so that is why I decided to contact you and I hope you will not betray my confidence in you. I have deposited the sum of 35 Million United States Dollars with a private financial diplomatic Courier services in Europe, Madrid Spain.
I shall be grateful if you could assist me clear this funds from the Diplomatic Office and have it transferred to your account for safe keeping. This arrangement is known to you, my family attorney and my innocent mother alone, who have just escape death on Saturday 30th, so my lawyer will deal directly with you in assisting you obtain all necessary document to enhance the purpose of your claim as the final beneficiary to the deposited consignment, as security is up my whole being.
I am seriously considering to settle down abroad in a peaceful and friendly atmosphere like yours, where my mother, family and I will have a safe heaven, as soon as this fund get into your account so that I can start all over again if only you wish. I am ready to part you 25% of this fund for your assistance, while substantial part of the funds will go into any profitable venture you see necessary for us to invest in your country.
Please honesty is the watch word in this transaction. I will urgently require for your very private number or mobile number if any. Please your quick action will be highly appreciated, as I expect hearing from you soonest, though this transaction should remain under maximum confidentiality at this stage in other not to get my government know about it as they are after freezing my family fortunes if discovered.
Presently I am a widow with a bitter heart, this assistance will go along way to bring my family back to normal and put my entire family in shape because nobody is aware of this funds. Only for you to render this assistance for big drive and change to my family and I know almighty Allah will for ever prosper you.
Hajia Aisha Gaddafi