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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447014243174 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "I.M.F" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2011 12:40:34 +0530
Subject: Winning Amount Been Awarded to You ($2.5M).
FROM: DR. PETER MCDON
(I.M.F) -- International Monetary Fund
This letter is from International Monetary Fund newly invented by the
World Financial Service Authority United States Of America/United Kingdom.
This body was set up to discover an outstanding unpaid fund being owned
Governments or Individuals all over the world through Contract Payment,
Inheritance and Lottery Winning Prize Awards.
It will interest you to know that we have discovered an outstanding
unpaid/unclaimed sum of money in favor of your name and a mandate has
been given to this body, - International Monetary Fund (I.M.F) to ensure
that this fund gets to you without any delay.
Note that a special payment arrangement has been made to deliver this fund
to you through diplomatic means of payment or alternatively come in person
to any of our payment Offices in Europe or Asia. As a matter of fact I
here by advice that you disregards every dealing with whosoever our any
organization regarding this transaction if you continue that will be on
your own detriment because we have inform that you this is the only
organization that has the right to pay any funds.
Also you would be required to let us know how you want to receive your funds eitehr by Atm Card,bank Draft,Bank transfer.Please you should indicate which way you prefare your payment to be remiited to you.
You are hereby advised to urgently furnish this office with your details
information to enable us open up communication with you regarding the
Release of your fund immediately.
The information required from you to enable us process your payments are
(1) Your Full Names:
(2) Residential Address:
(3) Phone, Fax and Cell Phone:
(4) Profession, Age and Marital Status:
(5) Company/Business Name:
(6) Your Private Email address:
(7) A copy of your international passport.
You are advised to contact us immediately with the above requested
information for further/Winning Amount been awarded to you ($2.5m).
details. Contact Email: email@example.com
Dr. Peter McDON
Director: International Monetary Fund (I.M.F)
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org