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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Hussein Harmush." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2019 22:21:28 +0700
Subject: You can assist
I am Hussein Harmush from Syria, presently now with the United Nations on asylum in Bahrain. I got your contact from a Syrian American who was injured in the war but died last last week in Bahrain.
I want to seek your assistance in the following ways:
1.To assist me look for a profitable business in your country for investment.
2.To retrieve $12 Million in the financial institution on my behalf and buy a house for me in your country where I will stay to start a new life.
After you retrieve the fund I will come over to your to settle down and start life afresh. I will compensate you greatly with 30% of the total amount for this help and you shall have the privilege of managing the rest of the fund for me in a lucrative business in your country since I am new and don't anyone there.
Mr. Hussein Harmush.