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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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: "Aisha Al-Qaddafi." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2021 18:58:03 +0100
Subject: Aisha ;;;;;;;;;;;
Dear Friend (Assalamu Alaikum)
Greetings to you from the city of Muscat Oman
I came across your e-mail contact prior to a private search while in
need of your assistance. I am Aisha Al-Qaddafi, the only daughter to
Former President of Libya Col. Muammar Al-Qaddafi. Am a Widow with
I have investment funds worth Twenty Seven Million Five Hundred
Thousand United State Dollar ($27.500.000.00 ) and i need a trusted
investment Manager/Partner because of my current refugee status,
however, I am interested in you for investment project assistance in
your country, may be from there, we can build business relationship in
the nearest future.
I am willing to negotiate an investment/business profit sharing ratio
with you based on the future investment earning profits.
If you are willing to handle this project on my behalf, kindly reply
urgently to enable me to provide you more information about the
Your Urgent Reply Will Be Appreciated