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:
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "IMF COMPENSATION OFFICE" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 14:52:35 +0100
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,
This is to officially inform you that an ATM Card that worth USD $950.000.00 (NINE Hundred and fifty Thousand Dollars) has been
issued as a compensation payment for all the short listed 2011/2012 scam victims whose email address was recovered during the recent
internet probing and investigation process.
Your email address was found among the list so we are in no doubt believed that those syndicates must have collect money from you
through their dubious criminal ways.It was on these very recommendation that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in
conjunction with the United State Government after series of meeting held came up with a sanction to all West African countries to
compensate all the foreign victims with a payment benefit of USD$950.000.00 (NINE Hundred and fifty Thousand Dollars) each in
order to restore the Global Economy to the enviable standard of respectability.
Please note that upon receipt of your response we will process and send you ATM Card Payment and you will use it to withdraw your
money in any ATM machine in any part of the world, so if you like to receive your fund, contact the director in charge of the
compensation payment at INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND SETTLEMENT CENTER Mr.RAIMI ADEBAYO on his email address:
(email@example.com) and also send him the following information;
1. Full Name:
2. Phone Number:
3. Mailing Address:
4. Age and Sex:
If you need an urgent attention please call Mr.RAIMI ADEBAYO on his direct-Telephone (+2348099755613) Your immediate
compliance to this will expedite actions on your Payment because here in this office we have a lot of listed victims to be settled.
AND IF YOU WANT FUND TO BE TRANSFER TO YOU VIA ONLINE BANK WE WILL DIRECT YOU TO OUR ONLINE BANK WERE FUND
WILL BE TRANSFER TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT OKAY.
FROM I.M.F COMPENSATION OFFICE