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:
- "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. )
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr Madhu Hakeem" <JBCLOTTEY@estate.ocn.ne.jp>
Date: Sat, 18 May 2013 09:38:44 -0700
Subject: Dear Sir,
First let me introduce myself. My name is Madhu Hakeem. I am the attorney for the son of Libyan leader Col Mommar Gaddafi. I am sure you must have heard about the revolution sweeping my country. as you can see on the following links:
This has prompted me to leave the country to another African country which I will disclose to you in due time. Now to the reason of my writing to you. As a trusted aid and personal lawyer to the son of the Libyan leader Col Mommar Gaddafi.
We have secured the total of US$59,000,000(FIFTY NINE MILLION UNITED DOLLARS ONLY) from access crude oil account, this fund was pulled out on the heat of this crises rocking Libya. said fund was deposited with a security company in a location, (not Libya) which I will let you know in due cause.
Now it seems the regime of Col Gaddafi is coming to an end and no one knows what will happen next. Now I have received instruction from my client Saif Al Islam Gaddafi before his death the second son of Col.Gaddafi to look for a partner to secure the money from Security Company. This will enable him have something to fall on, if the inevitable happens. We are ready to let you have 30% of the total sum, while I will have 10% and 60 % will be kept by you for my client or even help in investing for him pending when things stabilize.
I have all the papers to help us in getting the fund from the security company. Please if you are interested in this transaction, urgently respond so that I can brief you in details. But if you are not interested, please treat the email as it never comes to you.
This is confidential and must not be discussed by the third party or unauthorized person(s) looking forward to hearing from you.
Barr Madhu Hakeem