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 us 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)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "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: "Mr Ibrahim Lamorde" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 12:52:19 -0700
Subject: Attn: Unpaid Beneficiary $1.5 Million US Dollars
Attn: Unpaid Beneficiary,
It is quite glaring as shown on our records that you have not received your reimbursement of $1.5 Million US Dollars only due to the actions/activities of corrupt Government Officials who almost held the fund to themselves for their own personal and selfish reasons. Some individuals who took advantage of your funds all in the attempt to swindle your entitlement - that led to loss from your end and unnecessary delay in the release of your fund.
The National Central Bureau of Interpol empowered by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation have passed a communique for the clearing exercise of all foreign debts owed to you and other individuals/ organizations who are yet to receive their Contract Sum, Lottery/Gambling, Inheritance and the likes.
You are advised to contact the just appointed director of payment via his email address or telephone with the information below:
Rev Donald Holeman
On contacting him - kindly provide him with the following information:
Your Preferred Payment Method: Certified Bank Draft/ATM Card/ Bank Transfer
This morning our local time I sent a fax to the office of the presidency and we have been issued the mandate to compensate victims of scam/fraud like you - by choosing your preferred method of payment - which will be shipped to you with legal documents to back your payment up.
You are hereby advised not to toy with this developments as a mandate was also issued to terminate the entitlement immediately - if you fail to claim your fund within the time frame issued.
I have done my best as a clergy newly drafted to this position to assist people like you, but the choice of redemption is yours to claim or forfeit. But I assure you that I am on your side and you and in safe hands.
I await your response on this development
Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde
Financial Crimes Commission
CC: National Central Bureau of Interpol
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