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:
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned 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: "Musa Ibrahim" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 02:26:10 +0900
Subject: RE: With Due Respect?
After my official inquiry from the foreign trade office of the chambers of commerce & industry here, I decided to contact you but I did not disclose the intention to anyone else because of the delicate nature of the project. I found your profile very interesting and decided to reach you directly to solicit for your assistance. Please, I must plead for your confidence in this transaction. I am a high placed official working with the President of Libya (Col. Muammar Gaddafi). I was serving as the President's Aid - De - Camp (ADC), am currently in need of an experienced silent foreign partner whom I can trust to push some of the funds he deposited in my name in various financial firms in some countries he has business with.
Actually, my good friend, I was inducted by Col. Muammar Gaddafi after seeing my efficacy with former Liberian President (President Charles Taylor). I have been in charge of all financial matters concerning his funds due to the trust the President has on me, as you know in military, ADC is someone you must trust more than any one else.
I want your assistance to move some of these funds to your country as you know that my boss is already facing serious problems with the western world. I will allow you trade with the total amount of this fund for the period of five (5) years and at the end of 5 years, 80% will be transferred to the account I will provide to you while 20% and the profit made within 5 years will be your wage for assisting me.
All necessary documents will be made available for prove in needed time.
I plead with you on one issue, whether you are interested or not, kindly do not expose this information to any one else. I confirm that the transaction is legitimate and without any risk either to me or yourself. Please, give me your response immediately by returning this mail through my email address.
Musa Ibrahim ,