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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found 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.
- +448704958012 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. David Evans" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 06:47:13 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: The International Debt Discovery & Payment Bureau.
The International Debt Discovery & Payment Bureau.
London , England United Kingdom
Telefax: +44 870 495 8012
This is the International Debt Discovery & Payment Bureau (IDDPB) newly inaugurated by the International Bank for Development (WORLD BANK) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This Body was set up to discover and pay all outstanding unpaid funds being owned to Individuals all over the globe by Commercial Banks, Various Lottery Organizations who were unable to settle their clients of Contract Debts, Inheritance Funds, and Prize Winning Funds, Donation Funds, etc.
It was resolved and agreed by both the International Bank for Development (WORLD BANK) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that this body IDDPB will work extensively to ensure that all outstanding Payments are made to rightful beneficiaries without any hitch.
And it might interest you to know that during one of our discovery exercises few days back, we uncovered an unpaid/unclaimed sum of money in your name, and a mandate has been given to this office to contact you for the payment of your funds immediately.
Note that a special payment arrangement is on ground to facilitate the payment process. You can also come in person to any of our payment Offices in Europe and Asia if that is what you prefer.
Kindly reconfirm your full contact information to this office to enable us open communication fully regarding the payment of your Discovered unpaid/unclaimed funds.
We anticipate your urgent response.
Mr. David Evans