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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Gamal Salem <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 2 Aug 2008 03:37:44 -0400
Subject: Re: SUPPLY OF ZUMAB HERS
Dear friend ,
My name is Gamal A. Salem, Working as the Senior Secretary with
HealthLife (Pharma) Ltd.
I apologize for contacting you via email without meeting you prior to
this time. It maybe impromptu, but I wish to invite you for this
business in confidence. It is about a business supply of medical raw
materials for production of expensive anti-retroviral medicines, which
is highly needed at all cost by our company.
Our company through my department purchases herbal product (Herbs and
root) which has been proved useful in curing deadly human diseases from
chemical merchants at the rate of $1,620 per Zumab herb. These
Merchants' buys from farmers at the rate of $950 per sachet and each
sachet comes in 500 grams weight. Then, the supplier resells to our
company at $1,620 per sachet. I confidentially got the contact
information of the direct farmers, but I do not wish to disclose my
findings to the Director or my manager, because I have interest in the
I luckily got the transaction details of the merchant whom supplied
these raw materials with contact details of the farmer whom grow the
Herbs in Togo Republic and Northern India.
My proposal is simple; I need a trustworthy individual or company that
will act as a Merchant. If you pick my proposal, I will provide all
necessary information concerning the dealers, farmers and how to supply
the raw materials to us. The quantity required monthly from the
suppliers is 3,000 to 15,000 sachets per month. A profit of $670 per
sachet multiplied by 5,000 on averages is US$3,350,000 profit!!.
The Flat point is that Health Life Ltd shall only require test-sample of
the herb from you as a proof of your ability to supply such medicinal
herb. Our company is ready to pay you in advance to make the supply if
you are worthy to provide the sample from the farmer. If you want to
partner with me, I shall give you more details and how we can go about
it. Please this is very urgent. The herb is called Zumab and is scarce
and rare to find. It does not grow on any other soil. The company needs
it urgently. You don't need special experience in the business. You can
also handle it online without travels.
Miss Gamal Salem,
Snr Administrative Officer,
Health Life (Pharm) Ltd.