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)
- "million 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)
- ",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: "Mr David Mcguinness" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2017 22:26:07 -0300
Subject: Good Day...184
Hello Dear Friend,
I am Col. Hussein Harmush, An Army officer from Syria but now living with the United Nations on asylum in Canberra city of Australia. I got your contact from Syrian - American Army officer who was injured in the ongoing Syrian war but died last week while receiving medical treatment. I want to seek your assistance in the following ways:
1. To assist me look for a profitable business opportunity in your country where I can invest to sustain my living until the ongoing civil war and political crisis in my country (Syria) is over.
2. To assist me purchase a living home in your country, I have a sum of $5,000,000.00 USD (Five Million United States Dollars Only) with a financial institution in London. Should there be any need for evidence, or a proof of my seriousness and genuineness of this business opportunity, I have a Certificate of Deposit as a proof of fund for your confirmation.
Please kindly assist me to receive this $5,000,000.00 USD in your personal bank account to enable me come over to your country with my family 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 grant me a Residence Permit after the funds hits your Bank account. Could you please send me an email response to enable me know that you have received my email business proposal. Reply me now !
Thanks and Regards,
Col. Hussein Harmush.
Writing from Canberra Australia.