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:
- "transferred into your bank account" (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)
- "million 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Mohamed Youssefi" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2021 19:18:43 +0000
Subject: INVESTMENT PROPOSAL
INTRODUCTION: My name is Mr. Mohamed Youssefi, I am a retired government
official from Syria, I was forcefully retired by the government of
President Bashar al-Assad, because of the war in Syria.
I want to invest my funds in Real Estates, Tourism or in any profitable
business. I have no specific area to invest. Any lucrative venture will be
very comfortable with me.
I am looking for a foreign partner who is ready to partner with me for a
contract/investment partnership. With due respect if you're interested
kindly reply me for details and let's discuss the terms and ratio of the
investment between us. The total amount of money involved is the sum of
US$22 million dollars (twenty two million dollars).I deposited the fund in
a bank in TURKEY, before the war broke out here in Syria.
I intend to move my family out of Syria to start a new life abroad once the
fund are transferred into your bank account. Your kind assistance to help
me secure the fund will be more than highly appreciated.
I found your email address from the internet and decided to contact you. I
am contacting you privately for this partnership, so if you can Invest the
Money Wisely, kindly let me know as soon as possible for more information.
Please as war is going on , If I did not hear from you, I shall look for
another person. Kindly get back to me for more details.
I need your urgent reply
Mr. Mohamed Youssefi