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 state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found 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: "From Mrs.AALIYAH Ghafaar," <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2011 05:39:56 +0000
Subject: Re : VICTIMS IN LYBIA INVESTMENT PROPOSAL
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family?
I am Mrs.AALIYAH FATIMA AGHAFAAR the wife of Libyan ambassador in cote d Ivoire.
My husbands also worked as an inspector to Libyan oil director at Misrata Libya for 15 years.
During our service in office my husband was able to deposit the sum of twelve million united state dollars (usd $12,000.000.00) in a financial firm here.
But because of the position of my husband, he decided to use my names to make the certificate of deposit, as the next of kin.
But unfortunately, he was killed by the rebels at their last bomb explosion at misrata, when he went for delegation at misrata.
I got your mail through my private search and out of Desperation and I decided to reach you through this medium.
Now I want to transfer this money to your country for investment purpose because of the economic and political unrest situation in our country.
Right now am in a hospital for treatment because the death of my husband and my two sons has been an unbearable and irreparable lost to me, our house was completely bombed in misrata, and I have decided not to see the land of Libya again (the blessed and cursed land)I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regard. Now permit me to ask these few questions:
(1) Can I completely trust you?
(2) I am ready to offer you 30% of this usd $12.000.000.00,
I hope it is acceptable by you?
Please, consider this and get back to me as soon as possible for more details.