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:
- 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2012 19:01:59 +0800
From Mr. Abdul Hakim Belhaj<br />Commander Tripoli Military Council.<br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br /><br />Assalamu alaikum warahmotullahi wabarakatuh.<br /><br />I got your contact through some discreet inquiry from the chamber of commerce and industry; one has no doubt in your ability to handle a financial business transaction. My name is Abdul Hakim Belhaj, Leader of the newly formed Tripoli Military Council who ousted the repressive regime of Col Muarmar Gaddaffi.<br /><br />After fighters from my Tripoli Brigade broke through the defences of the ousted leader's fortress in the heart of the city, Col Muammar Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound, we discovered A metal save: containing (US$75.000.000:00) Seventy Five million United States of American Dollars, which we shared among ourselves, and I managed to move out my shear US$15.Million Dollars, to a financial firm with the help of a Private Company, the deal was absolutely successfully, I am seeking your help to allow me transfer the funds into your bank account for save keeping and investing in your country,I also want you to join me in any area i want to invest the fund in your country, if you don't mind.<br /><br />I am willing to offer you 25% of this fund for your assistance if you cooperate to help me receive this deposit.<br /><br />Thanks and Jazakum Allah Khair<br /><br />Awaiting your reply through this E-mail :< email@example.com ><br /><br />BEST REGARD.<br />Mr. Abdul Hakim Belhaj<br />Commander Tripoli Military Council.<br /><br />