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:
- "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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "abuja" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 11:11:36 +0100
Subject: INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
23 HERBERT MARCULARY AVENUE
WUSE 2 GARKI ABUJA
FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY
A power of attorney was forwarded to our office this morning by two gentle men, one of them is an American national and he is MR DAVID DEANE by name while the other person is MR... JACK MORGAN by name a CANADIAN national.
This gentlemen claimed to be your representative, and this power of attorney stated that you are died, they brought an account to replace your information's in other to claim your fund of $12.5 Million Dollars which it is right now lying DORMANT and UNCLAIMED, below is the new account they have submitted:
QUEZON AVE. DELTA BRANCH
QUEZON CITY, CANADA
ACCOUNT NO. 2984-0008-66
SWIFT CODE. BOPIPHMM
Be further informed that this power of attorney also stated that you suffered and died of a throat cancer. You are therefore given 24hrs to confirm the truth in this information, If you are still alive, You are to contact us back immediately, Because we work 24 hrs just to ensure that we monitor all the activities going on in regards to the transfer of beneficiaries inheritance and contract payment.Please you are hereby advice to reconfirm the below information to this honorable office for confirmation to help us serve you better.
Your Full Name.................
Your Country Address...........
Your Home Address..............
Tel. Or Cell Phone..............
A Copy Of Your ID...............
You are to call this office immediately for clarifications on this matter as we shall be avaliable 24 hrs to speak with you and give you the necessary guidelines on how to ensure that your payment is wired to you immediately.
Be informed that any further delay from your side could be dangerous, as we would not be held responsible of wrong payment.
Mr. Richard Allen.
International Monetary Funds Agents