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:
- "million 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ali Khalid" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2011 10:17:25 -0700
Subject: Please, Read My Proposal And Respond To Me
I am Mr Ali Khalid, one of the personal aides to Saif Al Islam Ghadaffi, the son of the present president of Libya, Mr Muammar Gaddafi.
Because of the recent resolution by The International community for immediate seizure of the assets of the embattled president Mr Muammar Gaddafi, both in cash and properties around the world, Mr Saif Al Islam Al Gaddafi, who is the chairman of Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation (GICDF) has instructed me to urgently look for an international investment partner to assist with the transfer and investment of $41.6 Million dollars which is the closing balance in the foundation account with a Bank in Republic of Ghana as we don't trust the Eurpean Bank any more due to the fact that must of our funds has been frozen due to the ongoing civil war in Libya, be rest assured that this fund is safe and clean and there will be no Western Trace to it for the fact that it was deposited in one of Africa best Democratic western region (ACCRA,GHANA).
The foundation (GICDF) is An international non-governmental organization, carries out developmental and humanitarian activities in the social, economic, cultural and human rights fields. Please visit the website below.
We resolve to give you $5.6 Million dollars for your efforts and to cover your expenses, you will also donate $5 Million dollars to Charity organizations within your reach, and the balance $31 Million dollars will be invested on our behalf by you into any viable business venture that you may advise.
If this interest you, kindly send me the following details to enable me send a letter of authorization to the Bank for the release of the sum to you in the form of donation on our behalf.
1. Your full name: ............
2. Your contact cell phone number: .....................
3. Your age: ....................
4. Your sex: .................
5. Your occupations ..............
6. Your country and city:...............
Awaiting your urgent response.
Mr Ali Khalid