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:
- 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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Mrs.Nahlah Aliah." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 07:25:19 -0500
Subject: Good day
I bring you greetings in the name of Allah. I know that this message might look unexpected or strange to you but please do accept my sincere apology in advance and treat it with utmost concern.
I'm Mrs.Nahlah Aliah Libyan, special Aid/personal adviser to late Mr. Matuq Aadam. who is the coordinator of national leadership council under late leader Colonel Muammar Muhammad Al-Gaddafi who died during 2011 civil war/crisis in Libya. May there soul rest in perfect peace.
In the demand for a democratic political reform by the opposition group referred to as Rebel group which late Colonel Muammar Muhammad Al-Gaddafi refused to adhere to as he had ruled the country for 42 years, led to several months of wild destruction of life and properties in Libya, leaving every activities to be closed, nothing is working out any more here now and you can see this issue in world daily news broadcast like CNN, BBC, Asian News, CNBC etc. which was top headlines then.
Because of the problem that happened in my Country Libya, nothing were moving again as business places, Banks, Schools, hospitals and many other institutions were totally out of place due to the serious war that broke out between late Gaddafi forces and rebel forces and looking at the position of things and my stand, I completely had nothing left for me as all my properties and investments had been destroyed by the civil crises (war).
So this is why I write to seek your guidelines and assistance to invest the huge sum of money with you in your country so that it will be a new turning point to me as all I had worked in life had been totally carried away by the destructive war.
I want to assure you that my partnership with you is 100% risk free and without any hitch because no one knows the where about of this money except me because I'm very close to my boss Mr. Matuq Aadam and all the documents proving the existence of the money were lost by fire when our office is hit by bomb blast that also kill my boss during the civil crises.
My sincere regard to your good family and I wait for your positive interest to this issue on my email but if not interested, please delete this message.
On a serious note, this information must be kept very secret between me and you till we are successful in establishing a good investment with this money.Please get back to me on my private e-mail.. firstname.lastname@example.org