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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Col. Hussein Harmush" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2020 00:49:18 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend.
Salaam Alaikoum., My name is Col. Hussein Harmush, an army officer from Syria Arab Republic but I am presently staying in a refugee camp here in Manila city of Philippines with my wife and my children after our lucky escape from Syria some years ago. This is as a result of the ongoing bloody civil war in my country Syria which has killed thousands of innocent civilians including women and children over the last few years. Please I would like to discuss a very important and urgent business proposal with you involving a total sum of US$ 5,000,000.00. (Five Million U.S Dollars Only) with a Bank in London only if you can permit me by responding back to this message as soon as possible. Inshallah I need your honest assistance in transferring this total funds to your Bank account so that I will travel to your country with my family in order to meet you for onward investment of this total funds through your help. I will be giving you more complete details about this transaction and thank you very much for your unde
Col. Hussein Harmush.
Philippines Refugee Camp.