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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- +447031892855 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Richard P. Smith" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 09:28:22 -0500
Subject: Re: Request to partner with you.
Good day to you.
I am Richard P. Smith. I am the manager for DL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT in London, United Kingdom. We are a private and absolute confidential financial investment company. This is with due respect to the type of clients we manage investments for. We are responsible for the safe keep, management and investment of funds and valuables for our customers and clients. Our clients are mostly top government officials and leaders around the world most especially, Africa and the Middle East. We managed funds for Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian President who was kicked out of office by his people. We have also managed funds and investments for Late Muammar Gaddafi who I am sure you must have known was killed by his own people after refusing to step down as Libyas leader after 42 years in power. At the outbreak of war in Libya, Saif Al-Arab Gaddafi, one of Late Muammar Gaddafis Sons secretly moved out large sums of money out of Libya and deposited $150,000,000.00 Million Dollars with our com
pany for safe keep and inv
The money has been concealed in special escrow dormant accounts with special arrangements made with some officers from another financial institution who agreed to receiving the funds in holding deposits to avoid any trace. The bank officer where the money is presently will contact you on how you can move the funds to your bank account for safe keeping until I meet up with you for disbursement as agreed. I need you to send me your response indicating youre interested to partner with us in this deal. As soon as I get your response, I will give you further details on how we move forward. If you agree to lay claims and take possession of this money, I will make the necessary arrangements and prepare all the necessary paper work or documents to back up your claim as the Manager, custodian and sole Trustee to Saif Al-Arab Gaddafis deposits and investment with our company. After the successful claim of this money, you will get $45 Million Dollars which is 30% of the total sum while my c
olleagues and I in the com
Mr. Richard Smith.
DL. FINANCIAL INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT.
126 Dawlish Road,
London E19 4QD, United Kingdom.