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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "might come to you as a surprise" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Aisha Gaddafi <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2020 08:38:11 +0000
Subject: Hello My Beloved One,
Hello My Beloved One, i need your assistance,
Please bear with me i am writing this mail to you with tears and
sorrow from my heart.
I am Aisha Muammar Gaddafi, the only daughter of the embattled
president of Libya, Hon. Muammar Gaddafi. I know my mail might come to
you as a surprise because you donât know me, but due to unsolicited
nature of my situation here in Refugee camp, i decided to contact you
for help. I have passed through pains and sorrowful moment since the
death of my father. my family is the target of Western nations who
wants to destroy my father at all costs. Our investments and bank
accounts in several countries are their targets to freeze.
My Father of blessed memory deposited the sum of $15.8M (fifteen
Million Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars) at the bank in Burkina Faso
which he used my name as the next of kin. I have been commissioned by
the bank to present an interested foreign investor/partner who can
stand as my trustee and receive the fund in his account for a possible
investment in his country due to my status here.
I am in search of an honest and reliable person who will help me and
stand as my trustee so that I will present him to the Bank for the
transfer of the fund to his bank account overseas. I have chosen to
contact you after my prayers and I believe that you will not betray my
trust but rather take me as your own sister or daughter. If this
transaction interest you, you don't have to disclose it to any body
because of what is going with my entire family, if the united nation
happens to know this account, they will freezing it as they freeze
others, so please keep this transaction only to yourself until we
Sorry for my pictures i will enclose it in my next mail and more about
me when i hear from you. Do not reply if you are not interested,
delete from your inbox. thanks
Aisha El Gaddafi
my private email address( firstname.lastname@example.org )