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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS INTAN AHMAD" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 17:55:40 +0800
Subject: Attention Dear
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AGENCY
IMF BUILDING JALAN TUN RAZAK
KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA
DATE: NOVEMBER 28 2012.
This is to inform you of your long overdue Payment outstanding with our fund Agency records. This is to inform you that your name came first from our Central Computer among the list of unpaid Inheritance claims individuals and have to update your information through this email contact for immediate confirmation.
Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a part-payment of US$2,500,000 million (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars)and it has been approved already for payment months ago.However, we received an email From Mr Dennis Lewis That you are dead and he is your next of kin and that you died in a car Accident four months ago and he has also submitted his full information to the office department of our fund Agency to Immediate transfer of the fund to him as your inheritor.
Regarding our investigation from the Bank & inconjunction with the INTERPOL we are now verifying by contacting your email address as we have in our Fund Agency records before we can Make the transfer into his account and for us to conclude with confirmation if you are dead or not.Please, confirm response immediately through the e-mail as below with Proof,before our action release of the outstanding payment against your name listed out. Upon this, i request you send your full personal information as soon as possible to enable this department finalize The transfer of the fund release to your nominated foreign International Monetary Fund Agency.
This department needs the following information from you urgently to enable us verify with the Information we have in the Central computer of the Monetary Fund Agency.
1. Full Names........
3. Contact Address.......
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This E-Mail is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from Disclosure under applicable law.Once again, I apologize to you on behalf of International Monetary fund Agency towards this contact and proper confirmation required urgently from you if alive and make sure you reply to my mail.
I await your response immediately.
MRS INTAN AHMAD
DIRECTOR ASIA AND PACIFIC DEPARTMENT.