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:
- 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:
- "million united states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs. Christine Lagarde <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2012 00:25:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Attention: INFORMATION
Attention: Honorable Beneficiary
I want to inform regarding your Payment. I saw your name (in the Central Computer among the list of unpaid beneficiaries that was originated from International Monetary fund among the list of individuals and companies name that your unpaid fund has been located us.
Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a part-payment of US$1.5 Million United states Dollars through MT103 B2B wire transfer and has been approved already for months.
I wish to inform this because there is a lot of junks mail flying over to 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 MT103 payment system.
You are requested to send us your full name that will be in your release certificate and your nominated address where the MT103 release documents 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/sec/pr/2011/pr11259.htm 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 to our paying bank so that your payment can be remit to your account by next week.
Kindly get back to me through my direct email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Christine Lagarde
Director International Monetary Fund
Direct Tel: 1 206 414 2667