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:
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Assalaamu 'alaykum," <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 14:21:11 +0200
Subject: Assalaamu 'alaykum,
My name is Musa Ail Military forces loyal to Libyan leader Col Muammar
Gaddafi; Actually, I acquired 3,000,000.00 in cash from Muammar
Gaddafi private wheelhouse in Gaddafi area in Libya. I need a good
partner who I can trust to assist me in receiving the Consignment Box
on my behalf. All arrangement to bring out the consignment from Libyan
to your Country has being concluded with a Good friend in United
Nations Diplomat Camp Libyan.
I need you to receive the Consignment Box since I cannot receive it
directly due to my status with the War in Libya. Am offering you 30%
of the total sum for your assistance and the 70% will be transferred
to my account which I will instruct in my next email to you on how it
will be transferred to my account. Your role in this transaction is to
find a safe place where the funds can be sent to. If you are
interested I will furnish you with more details. But the whole process
is simple and we must keep a low profile at all times. The best mode
of communication to me is through email.
This business will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that
will protect you from any breach of the law. I look forward to your
reply and co-operation, and I thank you in advance as I anticipate
your co-operation waiting for your urgent response.