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: "Engr. Tour-Shaban Issa" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 14:07:43 +0100
Subject: Urgent Help Please!
From: Engr. Tour-Shaban Issa
#37 Kandy Street,
Off Omar Almokhtar Street.
I got your email from a business jornal in my country.
My Name is Engr. Tour-Shaban Issa a top official in the former government
of Col. Gaddafi of Libya.
My country is presently at internal war and destabilized due to the death
and removal of Col Gaddafi by force by the western allied forces and all
the former friends and associate of the past government are being
persecuted and imprisoned by the new revolutionary government, therefore
we are all moving our money out of Libya.
I want you to quickly help me receive and keep the sum of US $15.5million
to your country. I have agreed to give you 25% of the said money for your
It is very urgent, Please reply me urgently if you really want to help me.
I will be waiting to hear from you as soon as possible..
Engr. Tour-Shaban Issa