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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ibrahim Moussim" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2012 07:57:22 -0600
My name is Mr Ibrahim Moussim,personal aide to Mrs Safia Gaddafi ,wife
to the late Present of Libya , Muammar Gaddafi who died on the 20th
October 2011 . l am contacting you in view of the fact that we will be
of great assistance to each other likewise developing a cordial
relationship.We have funds to the sum of US$130M with security firms
abroad. These funds are in cash and we intend to use them for
investment. This money came as a payback contract deal between the late
Gaddafi and a Russian Firm on our countries multi-billion dollars oil
project of which my boss happens to be the signatory to this lodgments.
No record ever existed concerning the money traceable by the government
because there is no documentation showing that we received money from
the Russians. Due to the current situation in the country concerning
government attitude towards my family and the death of my husband and
also the fact that the present government has intensified their search
for my husbands funds, it has become quite impossible for me to make
use of this money .
The present government in Libya had frozen and seized all the Ghaddafi
family's bank accounts known to them anywhere in the world. Thus
consent l shall expect you to contact me urgently to enable us discuss
in detail about this transaction. Bearing in mind that your assistance
is needed to move this funds and also handle the investment, l proposed
a percentage of 20% of the total sum to you for the expected service .
l must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the utmost
indulgence to keep this matter extraordinarily confidential whatever
your decision while await your prompt response.
Mr Ibrahim Moussim.