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 pounds" (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: "Mrs. Ghanem Aisha" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 22:24:10 +0200
Subject: Re: Help
Forgive me for contacting you through this medium, is because it serves as the fastest mold of communication. I am Mrs. Aisha Ghanem, the wife of the former oil minister of Libya Shukri Ghanem, in the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
On the 29th April 2012 my husband was killed by unknown people who dumped his body in a river. After some weeks they attacked me and my three daughters right in my home without success because we were not at home that very day. They took all valuables including our international passports and left us with nothing except some documents i kept in the bank which includes landed properties and a bank documents of my husband foreign account which has in it PDS20m ( twenty million pounds) in one of the banks in UK.
After this incident i realised that continue to live in Libya might cost us our lives, i decided to run with my daughters along with the documents in the bank to Tunisia for refuge.Since then we have been in the camp.
The main reason why i an contacting you is because i want you to assist me in receiving the money in my husband's foreign account so that i can get UN passport for myself and my daughters and relocate to your country for better life and if you don't might i would love to invest in your business.Your compensation if you can assist me on this, is 30% of the total sum. If you agree to the above terms and conditions, kindly send me your full name, current address and phone number.
As soon as i receive your positive response with the above data i will give you the name of the bank and their contact detail to communicate them. Meanwhile, i have already inform my husband's account officer i will be sending some one to him. Be informed that due to where i am right now i can not make calls in this regard.
I will be waiting for your urgent response.
Mrs. Aisha Ghanem.