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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Hassan" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2019 05:50:48 -0700
I got your contact from a business director online and I am contacting you because I have a proposition that could be of great interest to you. I represent the interest of my brother in-law who was a minister in the Syrian Government. As you probably know, there is a lot of crisis and war going on currently in Syria and my brother in-law has been one of the few people to publicly oppose the Government's policy on this senseless war and killings of innocent citizens that has been going on for a long time. Due to his support for the opposition to put an end to this war and install a more peaceful regime, the current Government are now out to unlawfully arrest and seize all of his assets. Their plan is to incapacitate and frustrate my brother in-law so that he would not have the resources needed to continue his campaign towards peace and justice in the country.
In the midst of all these problems he is facing and in order to secure the future of his family, he has asked me to help him find a foreigner with good business acumen that can help him invest the total sum of $100 Million USD that he has secured with a financial institution in Europe. Fortunately, at this time, the Government of his country do not know of the existence of the funds and he wants to move it out and invest it in a stable and neutral country. I am contacting you mainly to see if you if will be interested in this opportunity to help accomodate these funds and invest it on our behalf. We will handle the logistics involved in the movement of the funds to you and you will also be greatly compensated for your efforts. Please note that this transaction will be executed in a legal way and will not bring any harm to you or your family.
If this proposal interests you, kindly respond so that I can give you more details and we can also negotiate your compensation.