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:
- "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. )
- "consignment " (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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: "Zouheir Moussly" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2012 19:22:12 -0400
Subject: MESSAGE FROM SYRIA
Dear respected one,
I am Zouheir Moussly Personal assistance to, Syria Deputy oil minister to President Bashar al-Assad.
I am presently in Syria right now and as you may know there is a serious on going crisis and war going on in my country Syria at the moment.
I have duly resigned my position because I did not support the regime of the President which has continually brutalized and killed innocent people here and for that reason, most of us are put under house arrest and held by the government for not supporting their bad activities.
The crisis in our country Syria is getting worst every day and I have taken this decision for the betterment of my people and family and prefer to die rather than to join hands in killing our people.
I am sick and now can't do anything due to my inability to move around since we were all held by government authorities.You may have a little look over what is happening in our country Syria presently by opening the below link on my email: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9103136/Syria-open-warfare-on-streets-of-Homs.html
I am seeking your assistance to secure the sum of US$60,400,000.00 (Sixty Million Four hundred thousand United States Dollars) to your country or any safe country as far as I can be assured that it will be safe in your care until I found my way out from here.
This money is genuine. and was given to me from the compensations from various Oil Companies operating in Syria over time and by the grace of Allah SWT, I was able to secure this during my time in office in a security firm outside my country. One part was kept in West African country while the other portion was lodged in as a consignment in a security company in Europe.
Life they say is in the hands of Almighty God, I don't know if I will be alive or not because this war is getting worse every day and people are being killed here and there, for this reason ,I have decided to seek the assistance of a God fearing foreigner who will act as my trustee and beneficiary to claim this funds and invest part of it in a good business until I am free again.s
If you be willing to assist me in this transaction, your share of the sum will be 35%, and 5% will be removed also by you to take care of all the expenses we will make in the course of securing this money, which altogether will be 40% to you.
The era of our wicked President Bashar al-Assad Government here in Syria is gradually and closely coming to an end with the involvement of United Nation and the Arab league because of his killing and evil activities.
You will never regret this help. Kindly send me an e-mail signifying your interest in this email box for security reasons: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your understanding and awaiting for your reply.