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 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)
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "IMF OFFICE" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 2014 19:15:09 -0000
Subject: CONTACT IMF IMMEDIATELY FOR YOUR PAYMENT.
Attention: E-mail address Owner.
Complement of the Season. This is to officially inform you that an ATM Card worth US $1,500,000.00 has been issued as a compensation payment for all the short listed 2003/2013 scam victims for the past 10 years 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 must have collect money from you through their dubious criminal ways.
It was on these very recommendation that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through the assistance of World Bank in conjunction with the United States Government after series of meeting held has came up with a sanction to all West African countries to compensate all the foreign victims with a payment benefit of USD$1,500,000.00 Only (One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only) 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. Therefore, if you like to receive your fund, contact the Director in charge of the compensation payment at INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND SETTLEMENT CENTER Mr. Mark James on his email address: (email@example.com) and also send 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. Mark James on phone number (+229-99824282). Your immediate compliance to this mail will expedite actions on your Payment because here in this office, we have a lot of Scam victims on the list to be settled.
Hasten up to claim your funds as soon as possible.
Yours in Service,
Mr. Neil Hopkins.
For: International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Internet Fraud Investigation Department (IFID)
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