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: "Yusuf" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2019 12:12:17 -0700
I am Yusuf Hassan. I am contacting you because I have a proposal that
I think may interest you. I represent the interest of my brother in-law
who is a minister in the Syrian Government. As you probably know, there is
a lot of crisis going on currently in Syria and my brother in-law has
fallen out with the ruling Junta especially the president because of his
foreign policies and these senseless war and killings that has been going
on for a while. Everybody in Syria is fed up and want a change but the
president is too powerfull and he simply kills anyone that tries to oppose
him. My brother in-law has moved to support the opposition to empower them
to be able to fight and repel the ruling party but unfortunately, his
efforts has been unsuccessful and he is now currently being arrested for
plotting to unseat the ruling leader. They have seized all his assets and
he is now very scared for the safety of his family especially his kids.
Before he was arrested, he has asked me to help him find a foreign
investor who can help him accommodate and invest 100 MUSD
privately that he has lodged in a finance house abroad. He wants these
funds safely invested so that the future and safety of his family can be
I am contacting you with the hope that you will be interested in helping
us. We need your help to accommodate and lodge the funds in the banking
system in your country and also invest it in a very productive projects.
We will handle the logistics involved in the movement of the funds to you.
Please note that the entire business will be executed in a legal way. My
brother in-law has promised to compensate you handsomely for your role in
this business. Do you think you can handle this?
He wants this to be done discretely so I will be acting as his eyes and
ears during the course of this transaction.
If this proposal interests you, please kindly respond so that I can give
you more details.