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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Madame Christine Lagarde" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 01:24:42 +0200
Subject: Attention Your Payment Have Been Approved
I want to inform regarding your Payment. I saw your name (in the Central Computer among the list of unpaid beneficiaries, contractors ,lottery winners and inheritance next of kin ect,that was originated from West Africa,United Kingdom among the list of individuals and companies that your unpaid fund has been located to us so that we can see to the payment through Visa Card.Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a part-payment of $2.7million has been approved already for months.
I wish to inform you this because there is a lot of junks mail flying over the internet and some people are using advantage to collect account information from people on internet for fraudulent purpose that is while your payment will come through ATM visa card system. You are requested to send us your full name that will be in the credit card and your nominated address where the card will be delivery to you, including your phone number Once again, I apologize to you on behalf of IMF (International Monetary Fund)
http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/chron/mds.asp future to pay your
funds in time, which according to records in the system had been long overdue. Please get back to me immediately to enable us forward your information of our paying bank so that your ATM card will be dispatch to you by next week. Please contact Mr.John Chase (email@example.com)
Madame Christine Lagarde
Managing Director IMF.