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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Al-Saadi Gaddafi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2014 18:12:37 -0700
Subject: Re: I am not In Libya again,please.,
Dear Sir or Madam,
My name is Hafez G. Shaaban 21 year old I'm not in Libya again, I am
now in Ghana for my safety. Please I am writing you because I was able
to surf your email from your country journal email lists. Please I beg
you and I swear to the Allah I worship that what I'm telling you is
not a joke or a scam like I see some mails in my box telling people
about money, if you follow everything I have said in my letter both of
us will be happy for the rest of our life, and I swear to serve you as
my parent till the end of my life.
I am from Libya and my cousin is one of the late Gaddafi son's driver.
It was my cousin who took Gaddafi family to Niger and Algeria when
they ran from Libya. But he came back to Libya and died when their
convoy was attack by NATO bomb. But he told me something very
important when he was alive. He told me how he took some money from
Gaddafi son and kept it in a secret place. He said the money is in
euros 8.6 million and all kept in a big suitcase in a secret hide out
and 67 kilos of gold which he kept somewhere else, which I will not
disclose to you now till you show your interest to help me.
Inshi' Allah', and I will appreciate it so much if you urgently
respond to this life changing opportunity, so that I will go back to
school in your country.
Master Hafez G. Shaaban (Jnr).