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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447012949590 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "GHADDAFI FAMILY" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2012 00:06:01 +0100
Subject: Can you be trusted with this???/Treat urgent
I am Safia Farkash ghaddaffi [née el-Brasai] the widow of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, I am writing this mail with tears and sorrow from my heart asking for your help at this time, I got your contact view internet searching for a trustworthy person who will understand my present conditions and come to my rescue here in Algeria (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/29/wife-gaddafi-children-algeria) . I have passed through pains and sorrowful moment since the death of my husband Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi former leader of Libya and brothers, all our Foreign and local accounts have been blocked by the western countries and we are not allowed to make transfer or receive money from any country or source.Please, view the website:
Yesterday I received an urgent email from our confidential attorney that the security Vaults abroad that both their government and new Libya government are tracing
hidden deposit and assets deposited by my family, I don't want them to be aware of this particular fund ((US$50.5million] deposited by my son late Khamis Gaddafi
abroad. If you can be of any assistant to me kindly get back as to furnish you with the company and the deposit details so that you can contact them so that they will
transfer the total sum of US$50.5million) Fifty Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars into your account as the new beneficiary, I am willing to
reward you bountiful 30%.
I'm happy peace has been restored in Libya ,i pray one day i will travel back to my country.I cannot talk to you on phone because all telephone conversion are monitor
by the Algeria 's Government and the new Libya Government.
Please, keep this offer safe,secret and confidential.Now if you find it in your heart to assist us, i want you to contact our confidential family attorney[Mohammed
Khalid of Mohammedkhalid chambers] who is resident in London-United Kingdom.Please do contact him with the following information so that he can intimate you on the
needful thing to do to secure the fund into any safe account which you may nominate.The re required information is thus:
Your full names...........................
Your Contact address and Nationality...............................
Your Dedicated phone and Fax numbers...................................
Your sex age and occupation......................................................
The attorney's full contact information is thus:
BARRISTER MOHAMMED KHALID
MOHAMMED KHALID CHAMBERS
Please i do hope that you will not betray this trusth which i am reposing on you.Please my family have suffered an untold hardship and your mutual assistance will
avert more pains.