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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "with absolute secrecy" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Engineer. Mohammed Haitham Hilal" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 12:12:15 -0700
Subject: i'm resending this email in case you haven't received it.
Greetings to you and your family.
I apologize if the content here under is contrary to your moral ethics but please treat with absolute secrecy and personal. My name is Engineer. Mohammed Haitham Hilal from Damascus Syria.
I am now 59 years old, a retired professor and government official. I was former personal investor & financial consultant advisers to some top politician in Syria, also an oil Tycoon from Syria and Saudi Arabia. Al Furat Petroleum Company (AFPC) the leader in the region in Reservoir Management. AFPC was established under Service Contract no. 210 ratified by Law no. 43 of 1977 and named as per decree-law no. 12 in 1985. AFPC is a joint venture company between the General Petroleum Corporation (50%) and private shareholders Syria Shell Petroleum Development (SSPD).
I have plan to relocate my investment planning to your beautiful country, out of Syria, Now that Syria security and our economic independent has been lost to the greatest lower level, and our culture has been lost forever and our happiness has been taking away from us, so I will like to relocate my family out from Syria, I need a foreign partner to enable me receive my investment capital which already in a bank in Europe, and then relocate me and my family, honestly, I wish you and I will discuss more and get along. Am interested in buying properties houses, Building real estate and some tourist places, my capital for investment is Twenty One Million, Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only.
I will appreciate your idea and knowledge regarding this or any other profitable investment you may suggest, on my next email I will explain to you the full details of this investment Proposal. You may as well tell me little more about yourself. Contact me urgently for your good responds through my private e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Engineer. Mohammed Haitham Hilal
Al-Hal Souk, Damascus, Syria