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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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 Gaddafi <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2022 06:59:31 -0700
Subject: IN GOD I TRUST,
In the name of Allah the Merciful Peace be upon you and God's mercy
and blessings be upon you.I am sending this message to you from Oman,
In the city of Muscat.
Aisha Gaddafi is my name, I am presently living in Oman,i am a Widow
and single Mother with three Children, the 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 âTwenty Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand United
State Dollarsâ -$27.500.000.00 US Dollars which I want to entrust to
you for an investment project in your country. If you are willing to
handle this project on my behalf, kindly reply urgently to enable me
provide you with more details to start the transfer process.
Yours Truly Aisha Gaddafi