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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Aisha Hosni" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Jun 2011 21:34:10 +0100
Subject: Urgency to Humanitarian Assistance.
First, I must apologize for disturbing you with my letter but your interest to this letter will bring no regret to you. I am from Libya and my name is Aisha Hosni, I am 20years of age and the daughter of Dr. Ibrahim Hosni now dead. My father was the director of the oil and Gas refinery in Tripoli - Libya now dead. As you may have read or heard from any international News regarding the political unrest in my country Libya, I shouldnt have done this but due to the circumstances surrounding me I decided to do this. I am sorry for my poor English, I am not fluent in English speaking because I just gained admission into the university to read English and International Relation. My father has been the Director of the Tripoli Oil and Gas refinery in Libya for the past few years but he resigned from office because of the Anti Government and Pro Government Protest in Libya which occurred recently and his resignation led to his death. My father died because he resigned following the Libyan people's protest that Presi
I was in my School on the 20th of February 2011 and I got this sad news that my entire family have been Killed living only me alive because of my absence in the house at that particular hour when the killing took place. Reports said that some group of assassins came to our house and performed the killings with no traces till date. When I heard this sad news, I managed to escape from my school with the help of an elderly woman who smuggled me in a chattered flight that was sent to rescue Ghanaians working in Libya. I left my country because I could be the next target since my family has been killed by unknown men which everybody suspects must be the handwork of defiant President Muammar Gaddafi. I am presently in Republic of Ghana seeking asylum in one of their refugee camps. Read more about the Libya crisis in this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13402945
Since my few weeks here in Ghana in the refugee camp, I have suffered lots and have contracted some airborne diseases because of lack of amenities. Because of this unhealthy environment and the need for your assistance to relocate me to your country, I have decided to confide in you to let you know this huge secret. When my father was alive and when I was 18years of age, my father made a fund deposit of US$8.5 Million (Eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) with a Security and Finance Institution in oversea country Two Years Ago (one of the European country) which I will tell you when I receive your note of interest to help me. This fund deposit was made in my name as the beneficiary to the fund. Because of the problems going on in my country Libya now, everybody is scared living in Libya. People are dying everyday and houses are being destroyed so everybody is trying to find a way to go out of the country.
I will not say much for now because we do not know each other and there is no trust between us at the moment but in accordance to your helping me, I have concluded to compensate you with 20% of the total sum after you have successfully claim the deposit fund and also you will assist me to manage the money in a good business and secure my visa to your country. I will stay under you as your child and you will be my Guardian for the rest of my life since I have no other parent to call mine. I will not write much for now because this is my first email message to you, I will wait to hear from you then I will give you more information about this matter. Thank for reading my message and your kind understanding while waiting for your favorable response to this email; (email@example.com)
Miss Aisha Hosni