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:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss. Zahra Husameddine" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2022 00:26:18 +0100
Subject: Re: Can You Be Trusted?
I am sorry to contact you through this means,
I am Miss. Zahra Husameddine, a 22 year old girl from war ravaged Syria but presently leaving in Turkey border Refugee camp with my brother Ali who is 18 years old. My father Abdo Husameddine who before his untimely assassination by the government troop was the highest ranking official in Syrian government.
I really want to move out of this refugee camp, and Iâm looking for someone who will invest my funds for me and I will compensate the person immensely. My late father willed twenty eight point five million US dollars to me. I have all the legal document to the funds. This funds is in the bank in Europe. I need your response so I can tell you all you need to know about this transaction.
Miss. Zahra Husameddine