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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- 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: "Jewel Paul" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2017 22:29:45 +0100
Subject: Dear Recipient,
This is to enlighten you of a very important information which will be of a
great help to redeem you from all the difficulties you have been
experiencing in getting your long over due payment due to excessive demand
of money from you by both corrupt Bank officials and Courier Companies,
Diplomatic agents and fraudulent barristers after which your fund/payment
remain unpaid to you.
I am Jewel Paul a highly placed official of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) BENIN REPULIC. were I have been assigned to take
responsibility of your funds remittance to you with out further delay. It
may interest you to know that reports have reached our office by so many
correspondence on the uneasy way which people like you are treated by
Various Banks and Courier Companies across Europe to Africa and Asia and we
have decided to put a stop to these nightmares, which is the reason I was
appointed to handle your transaction.
All Governmental and Non-Governmental parasites, NGOs, Finance Companies,
Banks, Security Companies and Courier companies which have been in contact
with you of late have been instructed to quit and back up from your
transaction and YOU have been advised NOT to respond to them anymore since
the IMF is now directly in charge of your payment. You are hereby advised
NOT to remit further payment to any institutions with respect to your
transaction/funds remittance as your fund will be transferred to you
directly from our source. I hope this is clear. Any action contrary to this
instruction is at your own risk.
Respond to this e-mail on (email@example.com) with immediate effect and
we shall give you further details on how your funds will be released to you.
Contact the above email immediately for immediate response.
NB: Please kindly report any suspected scam/fraud email or ongoing
transaction to this office immediately for investigation and verification
and wait for feedback. God bless you.
Jewel Paul (Director)
International Monetary Fund
Head Department BENIN REPULIC B.C.© 2017
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