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)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (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: INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND IMF <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND IMF <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2011 01:31:48 +0900 (JST)
Subject: INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
UNITED NATIONS, ANTI-FRAUD UNIT
Swinton House 324 Gray's Inn Road, London Wcix 8DD UK
Our Ref: IMF/UN/WB/UK/AT/011 Date 11/10/2011
FOR THE URGENT ATTENTION TO: BENEFICIARY,
SUBJECT: YOUR OVER DUE APPROVED US$10 MILLION DOLLARS PAYMENT NOTICE.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) deemed it necessary to inform you the outcome of our financial crusade held on 7th Sept 2011, concerning fraud alert mostly in Africa etc, in which After much serious thought with the Economic Community Of West-African (ECOWAS) Regional regarding your due approved payments as above stated, the payment in question has been revoked/canceled from the former Bank/Agency , due to official misconduct etc. This arrangement was made by the International Monetary Fund in conjunction with the United Nations On Funds Control as reached with the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI.
Any beneficiary who therefore further communication with the former paying Bank/Agency is doing so at his/her own risk and will be punishable by law for patronizing unauthorized Bank/ Agency while tarnishing the image of the World at large.
Based on the fact finding, you have been given three (3) working days to have your fund received through African Development Bank ADB, Nigeria, where the unclaimed/recovering funds was lugged for safe-keeping and for immediate settlement. Failure to have your fund claimed on or before the payment mandate will result the approved payment file terminated from ADB as unclaimed fund. Be advised.
Bellow is the contact information where you can reach the authorized bank and request for your immediate payment as advised.
Bank Name --- African Development Bank ADB
Name: Mr. Donald Kaberukar, Director Foreign Operations
Telephone Number ----- +234-80-2828-3939
Email Address â firstname.lastname@example.org
We anticipate your immediate action in this matter of yours interest.
Mr. TOM SCHOLAR
DIRECTOR IMF UK