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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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: "Mr Shaw Jr Wallace Byrl" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2012 22:03:54 -0800
Subject: IMF PENDING PAYMENT APPROVED
IMF PENDING PAYMENT APPROVED
>From I.M.F.MONITORING TEAM
International Monetary Fund (I.M.F),
African Regional Department building
Subject: Re: Intercepted Transfer
It has come to our notice in our Headquarters building (I.M.F) that your impending funds from Africa, which was intercepted,has not been released to you ,We noticed that you made several attempt to transfer your funds but to no avail. Our investigation continued to the African Department (I.M.F),The monitoring team gave an unsatisfactory report to your transaction, hence the chairman is presently under investigation for conspiracy with your representative with intention to divert your funds.
You are advised to desist from contacting anyone including your agent or representative in these regard, International Monetary Fund has taken full responsibility to transfer your fund to you,respond to these mail by providing your full below:
YOUR FULL NAME:
YOUR TELE/FAX NUMBER:
YOUR INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT COPY OR DRIVERS LICENSE COPY ( SCAN ED COPY )
SEND REPLY TO THIS EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Shaw Jr Wallace Byrl
African Regional Department Director
It has come to our notice that you have been receiving emails from criminals who worked for some of this vital offices where your payment was originated saying your atm card have been approved, compensation fund approved, federal government of Nigeria have approved funds via office of the presidency, paymaster general have approved fund and diplomatic delivery approved to your favor, etc, please don?? listen to this criminals because they want to divert your payment only IMF can direct where to go for your money, waiting your reply.