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)
- "united state dollar" (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 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Mary Barnes" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 19:18:11 +0600 (BDT)
Subject: OFFICE OF THE FUND MANAGEMENT BUREAU (FMB) 1A Broughton Street
Battersea London SW8 3QJ London UK UNCLAIMED FUND NOTIFICATION I
am Mrs. Mary Barnes of the newly inaugurated Fund Management Bureau
(FMB) by the United Nation and International Monetry Fund (IMF). My
agency has the mandate to recover unpaid debts associated with NNPC
contracts, Lottery fund, inheritance fund,
loans and grants etc and to ensure that the approved beneficiaries
receive the fund as appro
OFFICE OF THE FUND MANAGEMENT BUREAU (FMB)
1A Broughton Street
SW8 3QJ London UK
UNCLAIMED FUND NOTIFICATION
I am Mrs. Mary Barnes of the newly inaugurated Fund Management Bureau
(FMB) by the United Nation and International Monetry Fund (IMF). My agency
has the mandate to recover unpaid debts associated with NNPC contracts,
Lottery fund, inheritance fund, loans and grants etc and to ensure that
the approved beneficiaries receive the fund as approved in thier favours
within an interval of 1- 2 weeks.
In the course of our assignment, we discovered that the total sum of Ten
Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars ($10.5M) was approved
in your favour as a grant/lottery with Ref Number: UK/9420X2/68 and Batch
Number: 074/05/ZY369 by the UN/IMF. The said fund from our investigation
is yet to be communicated/payed to you as the beneficiary hence it has
remained unclaimed since its approval.
With our mandate and the resolution reached, my agency have completed
arrangement to have this fund paid to you by ATM card delivery or by cash
at our nearest paying office in your region.
To ensure that the fund is paid to you as approved and attached to your
email address, you are required to reconfirm your particulars. Make sure
that you include your recieving address and the cell phone# to reach you
with the payment modalities for the attention of the paying office
assigned to handle the total fund release.
Get back to me on email address: email@example.com if you are
ready to receive the fund as approved for processing and payment of the
total $10.5M to you as approved without further delay.
Mrs Mary Barnes