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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: saudin farooq <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 09:27:28 +0200
Subject: I NEED TO INVEST MY MONEY WITH YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Orphan from Zimbabwe
I NEED TO INVEST MY MONEY WITH YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
My name is SAUDIN FAROOQ AGE 28 YEARS OLD FROM ZIMBABWE, the only Son
and child of late Chief Simon Mputa FAROOQ of Zimbabwe. In view of
the war and barbaric act in my country Zimbabwe by PRESIDENT ROBERT
My late father was a GOLD AND DIAMOND DEALER, he was one of the
richest gold and Diamond dealer in our country. Due to the fact that
my father was not in support of the white farmers victimization, the
invaded my father's house, burnt everything in the house, arrested him and
confiscated all his investment. Early 2003 when this victimization of white
farmers by PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE started, my late father envisaged a
worse situation, he concealed all his money and smuggled it out of
Zimbabwe to a security firm in Lome-Togo before that crisis ocured,
This money apparently
was meant for the purchase of GOLD from Ghana
My father was then arrested in 2005, While my father was still in detention
that led to his untimely death due to torture in Febuary 25th 2010, he
called me and handed over all the documents with which the money was
deposited in a security Company as family treasure and valuables in
Lome-Togo, my late father was an illitrate (NO GOOD EDUCATION) and fear also
made him to deposit such amount with a Security company and told the
security company that the Box belong to his foreign business partner named
Mr.Romeo Barone. Iam seeking for your permission to stand
as the foreign partner to have this money $3.5M (Three Million Five
Hundred Thousand USD) entrusted into your hands for investment in
I will also be willing to forward all the necessary documents to you that is
DEPOSIT CERTIFICATE,THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE SECURITY COMPANY WHERE
THE MONEY WAS DEPOSITED INCLUDING THE WILL my late father left before
his death showing that i am the rightful owners of this money for your
I have been in hiding since all these while so that this terrorist/tyrant
called PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE will not kill me just the way he killed my
parents.iam now in Lome-Togo under Asylum permit and will be very happy to
receive your Immediate assistance as my life is in great danger. do send to
me your private phone number for us to discuss more on this issue.
Meanwhile, you can reach me on this number +228 995 88 67
I wait for your soonest reply lots of love.
PLS: SEND YOUR RESPONSE TO MY PRIVATE EMAIL