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:
- ",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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Yousef Rahim el-Keeb" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 20 May 2012 21:00:54 -0500
Subject: Dear Friend!!!
Sorry for taking your time. I know this message comes to you as a surprise. I am contacting you with good faith, based on your good outstanding reputation and wish we can handle this together in a very high CONFIDENTIAL manner.
My name is Yousef Rahim el-Keeb from Libya, formal member of Security unit to late Col Muammar Gaddafi regime. Its by special grace of ALLAH that I escaped death on the last heat and cross the desert to Niger Republic thru the help of Niger Taureg nomads then to Abidjan Cote d Ivoire.
I want to request your assistance in retrieving and investing in your countrys good sector a total sum of 380,000,000.00EURO (Three Hundred and Eighty Million Euros Only) which I have secretly succeeded in moving out of Libya to one of European leading finance house in Switzerland (name withheld for security reasons) through the contact of Italian ministry of finance top placed officials.
Sir, if we are to work together, a face to face meeting with my appointed attorney, the ministry officials and your investment team (your attorney, financial adviser etc) will be schedule at the premises of finance ministry in Switzerland, this is inevitable. This transaction will not be executed thru internet, fax or phone without verification of the evidence/Stuff on ground, signing of agreement and handing over the fund control/transfer.Moreover: meeting each other will help in keeping our minds at a level of comfort with each other and build the trust, because a lot of criminals and bad things happens today in world thru the internet, making things difficult for those that have genuine reasons to understand themselves.
Upon receiving your response, I will put you in contact with my appointed attorney, who will now discuss with you and arrange a face to face meeting there in Europe at the premises of the finance house. Do all the documents signings at the bank then move the money into your account in your country or anywhere you wish it will be safe. Why I will be putting you into contact with the attorney is that I am presently on exile here in Abidjan-Cote d Ivoire where I was granted political asylum.
Should you be interested in investing this money for me in a good sector, please contact me immediately for more information(s) and details?
Note: We both will negotiate on the conditions and percentage when I get your reply. Please treat with respect and turn down my offer by returning my mail. This way, I can search for other contacts. No matter your decision on this message, pls keep this confidential and DESTROY if you are not interested. "Insha'a Allah".
I will prefer you contact me with my private email address; (firstname.lastname@example.org)Alham Dolellah
With warm Regards,
Yousef Rahim el-Keeb