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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Aisha Al-Qaddafi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2021 11:49:39 -0800
Subject: Hi Dear Beloved One,please i need your urgent reply
Hi My Beloved One, i need your assistance,
Please bear with me. I am writing this letter 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 the unsolicited nature of my
situation here in Refugee camp Ouagadougou Burkina Faso i decided to
contact you for help. I have passed through pains and sorrowful moments
since the death of my father. At the same time, my family is the target of
Western nations led by Nato who want to destroy my father at all costs. Our
investments and bank accounts in several countries are their targets to
My Father of blessed memory deposited the sum of $27.5M (Twenty Seven
Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) in a Bank at Burkina Faso which he
used my name as the next of kin. I have been commissioned by the (BOA) 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 refugee status here in Burkina Faso.
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 interests you, you
don't have to disclose it to anybody because of what is going on with my
entire family, if the United nation happens to know this account, they will
freeze it as they freeze others, so please keep this transaction only to
yourself until we finalize it.
Sorry for my pictures. I will enclose it in my next mail and more about me
when I hear from you okay.