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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "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)
- "cotonou" (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.
- 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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: IMF OFFICE BENIN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2011 20:41:14 +0800 (CST)
Subject: International Monetary Fund (IMF)
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Commitee on policy harmonisation,
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
700 19th Street P/N Cotonou Benin.
Urgent Attention .
We are pleased to inform you that we are the International Monetary Fund (IMF) set up by the United Nations in conjunction with the World Bank . Based on series of petitions we received from International Bodies such as Cooperate Bodies and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO on the Inability of some Government of different countries in the World, Mostly Africans bank & their Commercial banks and World Lottery Organization After the meeting held on 8th September 2011 ,your name was listed for compensation payment as one of the scammed victims to be paid $500,000.00.as compensations.
On this faithful recommendations, I want you to know that during the last meetings held at Cotonou, Benin Republic, it was alarmed so much by the world in the meetings on the lose of funds by various individuals to the scams artists operating all over the world today.In other to compensate victims, the U.N Body is now paying 10 victims of this operators $500,000.00 USD each in accordance with the U.N.recommendations. Due to the corrupt and inefficient Banking Systems,the payments are to be paid by Central Bank of west africa,
According to the number of applicants at hand, 14 Beneficiaries has been paid, half of the victims are from the United States .
we still have more 36 left to be paid the compensations of $500,000.00USD each, you are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this message to any body for any reason what so ever as the U.S. secret service is already on trace of the other criminals. So keep it secret till they are all apprehended. Other victims who have not been contacted can submit their application as well for scrutiny and possible consideration.
Listen, you have nothing to pay for the transfer of the fund into your account, if you will not be able to come down here by yourself to sign the certificate of fund release order of the fund, you will contact the central bank of west Africa attorney in order to sign the papers on your behalf on submit to bank of west africa for transfering of the fund into your account .Bear it in mind that the attorney may demand consultation fees from you and do not forget to send your contact information to us. Contact us with this email:
we are waiting for your response to commence with the transfer immediately.
Your personal code:Payment Reference No.-35460021,
Allocation No:674632 Password No : 339331 ,
Pin Code No: 55674 and your Certificate of Merit Payment No : 103 ,
Released Code No: 0763; Immediate Telex confirmation No: -1114433 ;
Secret Code No: XXTN013 ,
We expect your urgent response to this email to know if you will be able to come
MANAGING DIRECTOR, IMF.