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: "Col. Hussein Harmush" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2018 17:17:38 -0800
Subject: Re: Please Help Me Out Thanks
My name is 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 a Syrian - American Army officer who was critically injured in the ongoing bloody civil war in Syria 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 onward investment. I will compensate you greatly for this help. I am also ready to associate with a local partner in your country provided your Government will grant me a Residence Permit after the funds hits your nominated Bank account. Could you please send me an email response to confirm receipt of this business proposal. Also kindly promise me that you will never betray me and my family after assisting us to claim this fund from the Bank in London. Thank you and may Allah bless you!
Thanks and Regards,
Col. Hussein Harmush.
Canberra Australian Capital