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:
- "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. )
- "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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Aisha Gaddafi <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2018 19:36:48 +0200
Subject: Profitable Confidential Business proposal
How are you today? I hope fine and my mail finds you in good health and
spirit. My name is Aisha Gaddafi and i am the daughter of the late
Moummer Gaddafi of Libya who was killed by the Libyan rebels during the
civil was that tore Libya apart. I am currently living in Europe as an
asylum seeker because i can no longer go back to Libya to live for
security reasons. My late father was one of the richest African
leader while he was alive and never bowed to western influence hence he
was targeted by the western government and they used the puppet rebels
in Libya to get him ousted out of power and killed.
The reason why i am writing you is that i would like you to become my
business partner. My father made a deposit of 20 million United States
dollars to a Security company overseas before his death and listed me as
the owner of the fund while making the deposit through a foreign
intermediary (i will provide you with all the contact details of the
security company once you confirm you are interested in helping me). He
gave me all the original documents regarding the deposit and had me
smuggled out of Libya for safety reasons. He told me that in case
anything should happen to him and he is not able to make it out of Libya
alive or succeed to stop the rebel revolt against his government, then i
should contact the security company and use that money to start a new
life for myself.
I have already contacted the Security company about my claim and they
have confirmed the money to be in their custody but the Security company
manager advised me that it wouldn't be safe to move the money in my
name because i might risk the chance of losing the money to the United
States government or Interpol since my father name was blacklisted by
the United States government and since my surname happens to be Gaddafi
and so that might lead to the transfer of the fund being flagged and
seized. He advised me that since the money was deposited by my father
for the purpose of foreign investment through a foreign intermediary,
then it is better i look for a foreign business partner and transfer the
ownership of the fund to my foreign business partner and by so doing
make my foreign beneficiary the new legal beneficiary owner of the fund.
He said by doing it this way, then they will be able to process the
release and transfer of the fund to my foreign business partner and the
money will be safe because the international community will no longer be
able to trace the fund to my name once ownership of the fund has been
transferred to the name of my foreign business partner.
I am willing to offer you 40% of the total money if you agree to work
with me as my foreign business partner to receive this money on my
behalf because i really cannot afford to loss this money because it is
all i have left as all our family wealth and properties and known bank
accounts with all the normal functioning banks around the World has been
frozen and seized. It 's just because that this money was deposited
with a Security company and not with a normal bank hence they were not
able to trace it.
If you accept my offer, then kindly write me on my personal private
email which is ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
I will be looking forward to hear from you soon.