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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "trunk box" (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)
- "trunk boxes" (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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ahmed Gadalla" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2011 15:36:58 -0500
Subject: Re:from legal practitioner
BARRISTER AHMED GADALLA CHAMBERS
Legal Practitioners / Notary Public
It is my humble pleasure to write you this letter Irrespective of the fact that you do not know me.
However, I am in search of a reliable and trustworthy Person that can handle a confidential transaction of this nature and moreover a Muslim believer with a passion to assist in this regard.
I am AHMED USMAN, a family lawyer to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the President of Libya fighting now with the Rebels in order to still have the hold of power as the civil war in Libya is masterminded by the Western World for selfish political and economic interest as they intend to forcefully remove the ruling President Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in order to have full access and indirect control of the oil rich State of Libya through their underground agents via the Rebels as they are finding it very difficult to influence Colonel Gaddafi with their policies. Based on the Civil war that has erupted now in Libya and the Rebels having upper hand, I have been personally advised by Colonel Gaddafi to solicit for assistance of a Muslim reliable faithful who will take possession of a huge amount of funds deposited in a Security Company under hold, knowing fully well that if eventually he is captured by the rebels he may forfeit the funds as he wish to trust the funds to a fellow Muslim
faithful, hence the contact to y
Although, a lot of money have been recovered from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi since the inception of this Civil War in Libya, but there's still huge sums of money in hard currencies that we have been able to move out Of the country for safe keeping to the tune of US$215 Million. But at present I am on a political asylum in the UK based on the War going on in Libya.
This money US$215 Million is in four trunk boxes already in Europe and if you are interested, we will prepare you as the beneficiary of the total funds, and you will share 30% of the total funds after clearance from the Security Company.
It may interest you to know that recently similar transaction was carried out with one MR. Paulo Zigalo of Milano Incorporated Italy, a committed Christian as he proved to us, who came to the security company after our agreement cleared one of the boxes containing $35million, on my arrival to Italy for our agreement this man was no where to be seen, this is how we lost one of the box. So I am being careful this time.
Note, there is no risk involved in this project because l am involved, as Colonel Gaddafi's confident.
Please you should keep this transaction a top secret and we are prepared to do more business with you pending your approach towards this project. I await your urgent response.
BARRISTER AHMED GADALLA