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:
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "International Monetary Fund \[IMF\]" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2012 19:56:40 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Re: Your $2.5Million Payment Through ATM MasterCard .
From: International Monetary Fund [IMF]
Portonovo/ Benin Republic/ West African.
Plot 171 Gbodje Road, P/N Benin Republic
Re: Your $2.5Million Payment Through ATM MasterCard .
Attn: Fund Owner!
This is Mrs Rose Williams, General Secretary of International Monetary Fund [IMF]. I write this letter to you based on our board of Directors meeting held yesterday to release your unpaid through ATM MasterCard payment method and send it to your house to avoid anymore delay. We have converted your total fund of $2.5Million to ATM MasterCard and its ready to be shipped, meanwhile you are advise to contact ATM PAYMENT CENTER Mr. Hill John Sr, for the Shipment.
Contact Mr. Hill John via the following information below:
Mr. Hill John Sr
ATM MasterCard Payment.
Tel: +229 98 2929 81
Do reconfirm the following information to Mr. Hill John to avoid wrong delivery:
Home or Office Address:__________
ID If Available__________________
We told Mr. Hill John that you will contact him soon for the shipment of your ATM MASTER CARD and you are advise to use the following code as Subject when contacting him: the code is (Imf-7710). Your ATM Pincode will be given to you as soon as you contact him. Have a nice day.
Yours In Service
Mrs Rose Williams
IMF General Sec.