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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Safiya Qadhafi" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 01 Mar 20 16:31:41 GMT
Subject: Confidential business proposal.
FROM: MRS. SAFIYA QADHAFI OF LIBYA.
Wife of the ex-Libyan leader Colonel
How are you today? My name is Mrs. Safiya Farkash Qadhafi, Wife of the ex-Libyan
leader Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, the former and late leader of
Libya Colonel Muammar Qadhafi who was betrayed and embattled by Libyan and murdered
by the Libyan rebels which led to his untimely death.
Since then, me and my children has been on travel ban, no access to bank accounts
and we have been rendered homeless and at the same time we are
under threat and we are not allowed to
invest or operate bank account. I wrote this letter because
I need you
to help me to secure some of my family funds amounting to *$2 Billion Dollars* that
is deposited by my late husband in different security
companies abroad which is no longer safe under the name of my late husband therefore
I urgently need your help to transfer the amount to your bank account and ones we start,
first, the beneficiary name should be
immediately changed from my late husband name to your name through my lawyers.
I promise to make you richer by offering you 30% of the total amount that can be
secured through your help and in each transactions succesfully completed by you and
if you can assist me, we must work in confidentiality therefore I want you to please
keep this as a greater secret.
For more details, I want you to contact me
through my private and secured email address (email@example.com) for further
In your response, I want you to provide me with your particulars as listed
below because it will be used by my lawyers to make change of ownership of funds to
1) Your full name.
2) Home or office Address.
3) Land Telephone and mobile phone numbers.
4) Your Age.
5) Your gender/Sex.
6) Your Occupation.
7) Any form of Identification, example: copy of (INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT or DRIVERS LICENSE).
Contact me through my private E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I await to hear from you.