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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
- 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: "\(IMF\) investigation bureau AFRICA" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 03:00:14 -0800 (PST)
Subject: FUND RECOVERY
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Investigation Bureau, Africa.
Attn: Dear ,
We the International Monetary Fund (IMF) investigation bureau AFRICA, in conjunction with some other relevant Investigation Agencies here in the United Kingdom (UK) and Nigerian government, have recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring network that you presently having transaction going on with Banks in Africa (CBN) and others as regards to Your over-due contract payment which was fully endorsed in your favor accordingly.
We where also told that the only problem transferring the money to you right now is that some unscrupulous element are using this project as an avenue to scam innocent people off their hard earned money by impersonating the Executive Governor (CBN) and the senior Bank officials and other banks as the case may be.
We were also made to understand that a lady with name Mrs. Joan B. Cox from OHIO has already contacted Skye-Bank Plc and also presented to them all the necessary documentations evidencing your claim purported to have been signed personally by you prior to the release of your contract fund valued at about US$8,300,000.00 (Eight Million three hundred thousand United States Dollars.),but the SKYE-BANK PLC did the wise thing by insisting on hearing from you personally before they go ahead on wiring your fund to the Bank information which was forwarded to them by the above named Lady and that was the main reason why they contacted us (IMF) investigation Department so as to assist them in making the investigations.
You are to confirm if you actually sent her. Should in case you are already dealing with anybody or office claiming to be from the SKYE-BANK PLC, you are therefore advised to STOP further contact with them in your best interest and then contact the real office of the SKYE-BANK PLC Remmitance dept immediately only with the below informations accordingly:-
NAME: Mr. Fred Brook
Tell: +234-705 6433 416
Tell/Fax: 234 1 472 8594
Do contact me below as soon as you contact the bank so as to follow up with your payment case and also to investigate related matters.
Dr. DONALD KWAME
International Monetary Fund (IMF)