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:
- "keep it confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Imad Mansour Ahmad Khamis" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 04:00:44 +0300
Subject: Re: There is a Serious Crisis
Let me use this opportunity to introduce myself briefly to you, I am Dr Imad Mansour Ahmad Khamis, principal secretary and a close confidant of the Syrian oil minister Sulaiman Al Abbas. there is a serious crisis and war going on in my country Syria at the moment
The honorable minister has mandated me to seek the assistance of an honest and reliable foreign partner to secure the sum US$25m, to any safe country as far as we can be assured that it will be safe in your care pending when we will get out of Syria. Please assures us that you Must keep secret and keep it confidential at all time.
I will give you a detailed information as soon as you indicate interest.
I await your reply
Dr. Imad Mansour Ahmad Khamis