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 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Shayma Mehdi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mrs Shayma Mehdi <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 15:31:12 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: This Letter is for you.
Assalamoalikum my dear,
Please read this letter with good understanding. I am the only wife of Â Late Mr Meldi Mustapha, who worked with Libya Embassy in Burkina Faso for Nine Years.
When he was a live, he deposited the sum of 8.2Million Dollars, in the bank of Â Islam (idb bank in Â Burkina Faso , however, he realized this money through exportation of Gold, but because of polities he decided to deposit fund there for Charity project, before his brief Illness that lasted for 5day he gave up to ghost.
We donât have any child and now I got affected by cancer diseased that has being tormenting me for 14years now, Â my doctor have just said that I donât have more time to stay, Â Â Â please can you help me to claim this money and use it for this project? Â Building an orphanage homes, and schools, anywhere in your community or any place where is needed, but it must bear my Name.
Â I am a Libyan nationality and was Married to Dr Mehdi Mustapha of Ghana, I lost my family during the Late Mouammar Kadhafiâs regime and my (husband families) hate me to the extend my husband made me took an oath that none of his money will go to them, please do all you can to make sure you reach these people who are forced to flee their homes, and villages, to save their lives, risking hunger, illness, and cold/ refugees.
I have applied to idb bank for the claims of this fund and all the legal inheritance claim certificate is being submitted to them.
ThanksÂ Mrs Shayma Mehdi.Written from hospital.+233 26-44-43-270.