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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Abdulkareem Ahmed" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 09:29:42 -0400
Subject: Crisis in Syria - Funds for safety and investments purposes
I ' m Abdulkarem Ahmed AL-Surmi,Brother-in-law to Late Syria Deputy Defense Minister
Asef Shawkat who was assassinated in suicide bomb attack in the headquarters of the
National Security Bureau in the capital Damascus. Asef Shawkat until his death was
former husband to Bushra al-Assad,President Bashar's older sister.
I am offering you a partnership proposal in a classified monetary transaction, which
involves the need to secretly evacuate and secures some of his secret funds concealed in
a security company in Europe.
I am in a very difficult situation as a result of the crisis in Syria thus i must
evacuate this fund for safety and investments purposes.
More so, this transaction must be done in such a way that it must not be tied to me as a
result of his death and political circumstances in Syria which is very fragile and
intense at the moment.
More details of the transaction will be disclosed to you once you can assure me that you
can be trusted to handle this transaction. Honesty and trust is what I am in need of, so
therefore your assurance of confidentiality and trust will be highly appreciated. For
I look forward to your earliest response .
Abdulkarem Ahmed AL-Surmi.
Sana'a, Republic of Yemen.