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. )
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Aziza H Mohammed" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2016 11:08:51 -0300
Subject: Good Day
My name is Aziza H Mohd, i am from Libya and my husband is one of the late Gaddafi Army. It was my husband 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 hit by NATO bomb. But he told me
something very important when he was alive. As he deposited some money in a security company in Ghana as a family inheritance in case anything
should happen to Him. And he gave me the documents to save them for security reason, He said the money is Eight Million Six Hundred
Thousand United State Dollars and 67 kilos of gold in a big suitcase, which the company didn't know the contents, but they only know the
value of the contents.
I will give you information about all what am saying because seeing is believing. I am presently out of Libya because we ran out
during the war. why I write you is because I want you to take ownership of the fund and the Gold.
I wait for your positive responds so we can move further on more details.
Aziza H Mohd.