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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Mark Egobia" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 16:57:49 +0400
Subject: Re: Intercepted Transfer Worth 10.5 million Dollars
Dr. Mark Egobia
Executive Controller in Nigeria and Debt Reconciliation Officer
Plot 39, Ozumba Victoria Island Lagos Nigeria.
Dear Sir/ Madam,
Re: Intercepted Transfer Worth 10.5 million Dollars
It has come to our notice in our Headquarters building (I.M.F) that your impending funds from Africa, which was intercepted worth 10.5million Dollars ($10.500,000) has 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 intension 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:
You can also give me a call as soon as possible for an oral discussion. Direct Telphone Line: +2348066337545
Dr. Mark Egobia.
African Department Director
The International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Direct Telphone Line: +2348066337545