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:
- 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:
- "million 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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. HASSAN B ROUHANI" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 19:38:37 -0700
Subject: GADDAFI DIED LEFT FUND
First of all let me introduce myself to you. my names is Mr. Hassan Rouhani,
please I have an entire risk-free deal for you and me. I am a
retired staff of a bank here. I was the account officer to
the late Libya Muammar Gaddafi. He had a confidential oil business
partner in Saudi Armco that frequently send funds to his secret bank
account in our bank here; I will then transfer the funds to his bank
account upon his instructions.
While war was going on in his country, the sum of $41.6, Million Dollars
was transferred to the secret account by his
oil business partner shortly before his death in October 20, 2011,
the funds have been intact in the account since then (I EMPHASIZE,
THAT NO ONE) is aware of the actual owner of the funds except me
because the account was not created in his name but in a company name.
I have full
knowledge of how to peacefully claim the funds from the bank.
However, his business partner believed the funds was remitted out of
the account to him before his death. (SO THIS IS A VERY SAFE DEAL).I
have obtained all the concerned legal documents that will give you
the officially authorized right to transfer the funds out of the
account a the beneficiary of the fund,Therefore I want the fund
transferred out of the Bank account to your bank account as the
beneficiary without delay. No single danger is involved in this deal,
you will legitimately receive the funds safe and sound in your bank
account without delay, do not fear any unforeseen circumstances
whatsoever now and never in the future.
I am involved in this deal and now am involving you because it is
totally risk free. We shall share the funds based on the terms we
shall both agree on. Kindly indicate your telephone number in your
reply, also your full name and address. HAVE A GOOD DAY AHEAD.
MR. Hassan Rouhani