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:
- "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)
- "% will be for you" (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)
- "remain blessed" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Omar Al- Said" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 10:11:32 -0500
Subject: Your positive response NEEDED!!!
I apologize for using this medium to reach you for a transaction/business of this magnitude, but this is due to the urgency and nature of the issue at stake, I want to Count on you, as a respected and honest person to handle this project/transaction with sincerity, trust and Confidentiality. Let me use this opportunity to introduce myself briefly to you, I am Omar Al-Said, principal Secretary and a Close Confidant of the Syrian oil minister. I am presently in Syria right now and as you may know 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 and release the sum of US$60,700,000.00 (Sixty Million Seven hundred thousand United States Dollars only) 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 as we do not know when this war will be over if at all it will end. This money is genuine, and was derived from over invoicing and Compensations from various Oil Companies Operating in Syria over the years, we were able to Secure these funds in a Security firm in my Country.
OUR CONDITIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS.
1.You will give us 70% of the total sum as soon as you take full custody of the funds, while 25% will be for you and 5% should be set aside for any miscellaneous expenses that might arise from your side in the Course of this transaction.
2.This transaction must be kept highly secretive as we are Still in active service to avoid public Notice and all Correspondence will be Strictly by email for Security reasons, We will talk on phone intermittently if need be.
3.There should be no third parties involved from your end or ours as most problems associated with transactions of this magnitude are Caused by intermediaries.
If you agree with our Conditions and ready to go ahead with us please kindly get back to me with your personal details i.e. full name, contact address and private Secure telephone Number
Once I receive your positive response I shall then intimate you with the procedures and process we will undertake and get the funds over to you safely without any hitch. While thanking you in advance remain blessed as we enter this new venture together.
Omar Al- Said.