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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Col. Hussein Harmush" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2017 16:06:08 -0000
Subject: Dear Esteemed Friend
I am Hussein Harmush from Syria, presently now with the United Nations on asylum in Hamad Town in Bahrain. I got your contact from a Syrian American who was injured in the war but died last week here in Bahrain.
I want to seek your assistance in the following ways:
1. To assist me look for a profitable business in your country (where I can invest to sustain my living until the political crisis in my country is over).
2. To assist me purchase a living home, I have $21,000,000.00 USD in financial institution. Should there be a need for evidence, or a proof of my seriousness and genuineness. I have a Certificate of Deposit as a proof of fund.
Please assist me to come over to your country for resettlement and investment. I will compensate you greatly for this help. I am also ready to associate with a local partner, provided your Government will give me a Residence Permit.
Could you please send me an email to enable me know you have received my email reply me now to help out.
Col. Hussein Harmush