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 us 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: "Aamina Mohd" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2012 23:49:47 +0800
Subject: GOOD DAY.
My name is Aamina Mohd, i know it will be a big surprise for you to receive my email because email like these fly over the internet telling people about funds and every other things. but my self always receives offer from the internet which i normally delete because i believe it will be scam a letter.
but please i beg you and i swear to the Allah i worship that what am telling you is not a joke or a scam, if you follow everything i have said in my letter both of us will be happy for the rest of our life.
am from Libya and my husband is one of the late Gaddafi sons driver. it was my husband who took Gaddafi family to Niger and Algeria when they ran from Libya. but he came back to Libya and died when their convoy was hit by NATO bomb. but he told me something very important when he was alive. he told me how he took some money from Gaddafi son and kept it in a secret place.
he said the money is in Us Dollars 8.6 million Us Dollars and all kept in a big suitcase kept in a secret hide out. and also 67 kilos of gold which he kept somewhere else.
I will want to give you information about all what am saying because seeing is believing. i am presently out of Libya because we ran out during the war.
why am written you is because i want you to take ownership of the funds and gold which my husband kept because if people knows that it belongs to my late husband they will size it and report to the Libyan government. my husband fight and died for his master so please i have to keep everything secret until i hear from you. and please all what am saying is just known by the both of us and nobody else.
i have 4 children for my husband and nothing to feed them here until i can get hold of what i just told you but i still have to be very carefully not to lose the money or the gold. i will share the money and the gold with you if you will assist me.
just for you to claim ownership of the money and the gold i will give you half of the money and half of the gold when it is under your control. i will tell you how you can receive the money and the gold when i hear from you. also every other details will be given when i see your seriousness to help us receive the both items. please send me your direct details and phone number so we can talk. my first son speak English very well. please reply with your information.
i also want you to know that the money and the gold are not in Libya both of them are kept in different countries
i will wait for your reply