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:
- 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: "Mrs. Safia Farkash Gahdafi" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2011 03:35:08 +0300
Subject: RE: GREETINGS
I am Mrs. Safia Farkash Gahdafi the wife of the late Libyan
Leader Colonel Muammar Gahdafi. Following the recent
rebellion in my country and the brutal death of my husband
on the 20 Oct 2011, I have been thrown into a state of utter
confusion, frustration and hopelessness; I have been
subjected to physical and psychological torture by the
security agents in Algeria where we seek refuge at present.
My son was killed by the rebels for an offense he did not
commit. As a widow that is so traumatized, I have lost
confidence with anybody within the country. You must have
heard over the media reports and the internet on the
recovery of various huge sums of money deposited by my
husband in different security firms abroad, some companies
willingly give up their secrets and disclosed our money
confidently lodged there or many outright blackmail. In fact
the total sum discovered by the Government so far is in the
tune of $900 Million Dollars. And they are not relenting to
make me poor for life; I got your contact email address
through my research and out of desperation decided to reach
you through this medium. I will give you more information as
to this regard as soon as you reply. I repose great
confidence in you hence my approach to you due to security
network placed on my day to day affairs I cannot afford to
visit the embassy so that is why I decided to contact you
and I hope you will not betray my confidence in you. I have
deposited the sum of ($18) Million Dollars with a Bank whose
name is withheld for now until we open communication.
I shall be grateful if you could receive this fund into your
account for safe keeping. This arrangement is known to you
and me alone. I am seriously considering relocating to your
country once the fund is transferred to you. I will be
willing to offer you 30% of the total fund if only you will
receive this fund and keep it for us.
Please note that honesty is the watch word in this
transaction. I will require your full names and address and
telephone so that we can commence communication immediately
and I will give you a more detailed picture of things. In
case you don?t accept please do not let me out to the
security as I am giving you this information in total trust
and confidence .I will greatly appreciate if you accept my
proposal in good faith.
I appreciate your timely suggestion and interest over this
Mrs. Safia Farkash Gahdafi