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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. David Jonathan" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2012 03:58:51 -0400
Subject: Attn: Beneficiary
The International Monetary Fund Regional Office Nigeria have received an 0fficial Notification from International Monetary Fund (IMF) Head Quaeters London-United Kingdom, in respect of your pending transaction from Africa, involving transfer of large sum of money.
Details of this notification from IMF Office in London have shown that you have not yet received this fund after several efforts you have made to receive your fund. Your fund was recently moved to the Citibank Bank of Nigeria after recent meeting held by IMF African Regional Representatives in IMF Headquarters London, concerning all unclaimed funds originating from African Countries. Meanwhile, your file/records have shown that you have gone through so many complications through various authorities in the past, in process of the transfer of your fund, and all your efforts towards this have failed. It has been traced by the International Monetary Fund Committee that your matter is delayed through corrupt officials, being manipulated by some people you have been in contact with, and you have also spent a lot of money in this process.
Report of the delay in your transaction has reached the office of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Head Quarters London, and a mandate has been signed by IMF Committee for immediate release of this fund to you via bank to bank transfer, from the Citibank This move came as BODs of the World Bank approved a USD100 million credit to support Nigeria Government's efforts to scale up the payment of unpaid contracts across West Africa. This process also benefits from the USD57 billion the world bank lends to developing countries every year.
Approved Payment Value: $5,500,000.00 dollars
Authourized Paying Bank: Citibank, N.A
Transaction Reference Code: CITI/KTT/27890/0000/0012
IMF, in collaboration with the Office of the Presidency Nigeria, and the Citibank, will embark on full process of this exercise through your maximum co-operation, in order to ensure that your pending fund is released to you without any Further delay.
You are hereby required to recomfirm the information listed below in this message with your full details as mandated by the International Monetary Fund Head Quarters, for the commencement of this process.
We anticipate your maximum co-operation for final release of your pending fund.
Yours in Service
Mr. David Jonathan
THE OFFICE TO CONTACT WITH YOUR INFORMATION
Do contact with your details:
DIRECT CELL LINE:________
scanned COPY OF YOUR INT'L PASSPORT/DRIVERS LICENSE
Information Desk-IMF Nig REGIONAL OFFICE