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 united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 ADEMOLA JOHNSON" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 2 Oct 2011 08:34:01 -0700
Subject: RE-OUTSTANDING PAYMENT
THE DESK OF DR ADEMOLA JOHNSON
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AGENCY
INTERNATIONAL OPERATION DEPT
Good day , this is to inform you of your Long overdue Payment outstanding in our Banking records . I saw your name in the Central Computer among list of unpaid inheritance claims individuals and have to update your informations through this email contact for immediate confirmation .Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a part-payment of US$40.000,000 million (Fourty million United State dollars) and it has been approved already for payment months ago .
However we received an email from one Mr.Kennedy Franklin who told us that he is your next of kin and that you died in a car accident last four months back . He has also submitted his account informations to the office department for transfer of the fund to him as your inheritor.We are now verifying by contacting your email address as we have in our Bank records before we can make the transfer into his account and for us to conclude confirmation if you are dead or not.
Please , confirm response immediately before our action release of the outstanding payment against your name listed out . Upon this, i request you send your full personal information as soon as possible to enable this department finalize the transfer of the fund release to your nominated foreign Bank Account.This department needs the following informations fromyou urgently.
2,Telephone Or Fax Number
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This E-Mail is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. Once again , I apologize to you on behalf of International Monetary fund Agency towards this contact and proper confirmation required urgently from you if alive . Call with this number +2348033435257 to confirm you are alive.
Dr Ademola Johnson
International Monetary Fund Agency
INTERNATIONAL OPERATION DEPT