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)
- "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. )
- ",000,000" (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: CAPT PETER ADAMS <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2020 12:00:31 +0000
Subject: Dear Friend CAN I TRUST YOU?
First let me introduce myself. My name is Capt:Peter Adams. I am the attorney for the son of Libyan leader Col Mommar Gaddafi. I am sure you must have heard about the revolution sweeping my country. as you can see on the following links:
This has prompted me to leave the country to another country which I will disclose to you in due time. Now to the reason of my writing to you. As a trusted aid and personal lawyer to the son of the Libyan leader Col Mammar Gaddafi.
I have secured the total of US$59,000,000(FIFTY NINE MILLION UNITED DOLLARS ONLY) from access crude oil account, this fund was pulled out on the heat of this crises rocking Libya. said fund was deposited with a security company in a location, (not in Libya) which I will let you know in due cause.
Now it seems the regime of Col Gaddafi has end and no one knows what will happen next. Now I have received instruction from my client Saif Al Islam Gaddafi before his death the second son of Col.Gaddafi to look for a partner to secure the money from Security Company. This will enable me have something to fall on, if the inevitable happens. I am ready to let you have 40% of the total sum, while I will have 60% which will be kept by you for any investment or even help in investing it pending when things stabilize.
we have to get all the papers to help us in getting the fund from the security company. Please if you are interested in this transaction, urgently respond so that I can brief you in details. But if you are not interested, please treat the email as it never comes to you.
This is confidential and must not be discussed by the third party or unauthorized person(s) looking forward to hearing from you.