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.
- 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.
- +447024092802 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUNDS ( IMF )" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:57:42 -0400
Subject: Re: YOUR OVERDUE OUTSTANDING PAYMENT OF 280,000. 00 POUNDS
We wish to inform you that your overdue payment of 280,000.00 Great Britain Pounds has be scheduled to be paid to you through our Automated teller machine card (ATM Card) which you will only be required to proceed to any ATM Cash Point to withdraw the sum of $1,000 per day till the payment is completed.
This development is as a result of a new payment policy carried out by HSBC bank in London ,United Kingdom in collaboration with International Monetary Fund in accordance with the World Bank 2007 payment constitution. We have gone through your files and have discovered why you have not received your payments yet. Firstly you refused to follow the necessary step needed for the process to be successful and by doing that we suspend your account.
Secondly we have been informed that you are still dealing with none bank officials, please such an act will have to stop immediately if you still wish to receive your payments. Since we have decided to bring a solution to your problem we have arranged to make payments through our swift card payment which is the latest instruction by the new elected president Goodluck Jonathan (GCFR) Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This joint effort is to help HSBC bank in London ,United Kingdom to restrict and monitor every international transaction, to avoid money laundry activities and to help fight fraudulent activities from scam experts. Furthermore you are advised to contact me ASAP for the issuance of your ATM card and my e-mail address is ( email@example.com ) . When you contact me, kindly provide your;
1. Full Name (As Stated in your ID)
2. Contact Address
3. Telephone/Fax number
4. Current Occupation
All this will be used to process and acquire your ATM card and immediately this is done we will then dispatch your ATM card to you. The International Credit Settlement Dept has been mandated to issue out 280,000.00 Great Britain Pounds to you and we will like this to be done without any further delays. We will inform you more on the next procedure to take when we hear from you. We hope you do get in touch with us so that we can process and finalize your documents.
Feel free to call our Telephone : +447024092802