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:
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "million 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)
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Aisha Al Gaddafi" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2021 08:37:14 -0700
Subject: HELLO, YOUR URGENT ATTENTION IS NEEDED
May I use this medium to open a mutual communication with you seeking your acceptance towards investing in your country under your management as my partner, My name is Aisha Gaddafi and presently living in Oman, i am a Widow and single Mother with two survived Children, I am only biological Daughter of late Libyan President (Late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi) and presently i am under political asylum protection by the Omani Government.
I have funds worth "Sixty Million United State Dollars Only" $60,000,000.00 USD which i want to entrust on you for investment project in your country, if you are willing to handle this project on my behalf, please for your kind assistance I will offer you 30% of the total sum, all the legal documentation concerning the deposit are with me, I will only write power of attorney making you the new beneficiary of the deposit so that the security company can release the consignment to you. Bear in mind that the funds was deposited with the security and deposit firm as household effect, therefore they do not know the real content, so you are going to collect the consignment as house effect from the security company where as only you and me know the real content
Please kindly reply urgently to enable me provides you more detail to start the transfer process. In case you want to know more about me and my family you can read through this BBC News links below:
I shall appreciate your urgent response.
Mrs. Aisha Al-Gaddafi