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:
- 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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Madam. Rebecca Gold" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2013 18:31:02 +0000
Subject: CAN I INVEST THROUGH YOU?
As new brand day has come, I give God all the Glory and I return all the
praises to him, where there is life, there is hope. No dream is gone until
death cometh. I must confess that it is with great joy and enthusiasm that
I am writing you this mail which I know and believe by faith that it must
surely find you in good condition of health.
My Name is Madam Rebecca Gold, I am contacting you to assist me for an
investment sum of US$30.5M which my late husband deposited in a security
vault in Accra-Ghana before his untimely death. He deposited the money in
the security company in Accra-Ghana with the mind to use it to build his
own hospital in Ghana as Ghana is one of the fastest growing economy in
Africa which allot of investors do come so, he needed to have a five
standard hospital in Ghana before his death came up.
Actually my late husband acquired the US$30.5M during his work in Libya as
the medical doctor attached to the former Libyan President Gaddafi and
since after the death of the Col. Gaddafi, I have not heard from my husband
he was so close to Col. Gaddafi so, from the picture of the death of the
Col. Gaddafi, I discovered that my husband also died along side with him
so, I am now left alone with our 3 kinds take care of for now.
However, I want you to please accept this great responsibility for
assisting me to claim the funds which my late husband deposited the 2
consignments with a security company in Ghana so that I can appoint you as
the next of kin to the deposit and also my late husband close associate who
will receive the consignments on my behalf. Actually the security company
does not know that the consignments contents money as it was declared as
Allure Gold Dust worth of US$30.5M as my late husband declared the content
of the consignments.
I will like you to give me your full name and address, your Telephone
Numbers, Country and also your acceptance letter.
Thanks and waiting to hear from you.
Madam Rebecca Gold