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:
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Deborah Benson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2014 18:42:05 +0100
Subject: INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
HONORABLE MINISTER OF FINANCE
BUDGET OFFICE, FEDERAL MINSTERY OF FINANCE.
AMADU BELLO WAY, P.M.B 251, CENTRAL BUSINESS
AREA, GARKI, ABUJA
Contact Agent Name: Mark Tunde
Email :( firstname.lastname@example.org)
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
This is to intimate you of a very important information which will be of a great help to redeem you from all the difficulties you have been experiencing in getting your long over due Certified Bank Draft Cheque of ($2.500.000.00 usd) due to excessive demand for money from you by both corrupt Bank officials and Courier Companies after which your fund remain unpaid to you.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) It may interest you to know that reports have reached our office by so many correspondence on the uneasy way which people like you are treated by Various Banks and Courier Companies across Europe to Africa and Asia and we have decided to put a stop to that and that is why i was appointed to handle your transaction here in Nigeria.
All Governmental and Non-Governmental parasites, NGOs, Finance Companies, Banks, Security Companies and Courier companies which have been in contact with you of late have been instructed to back up from your transaction and you have been advised not to respond to them anymore since the IMF is now directly in Charge of your Certified Bank Draft Cheque ($2.500.000.00 usd ) You are hereby advised not to remit further payment to any institutions with respect to your transaction as your fund will be transfer to you directly from our source. I hope this is clear to you now; any action contrary to this instruction is at your own risk.
And the only money you are to pay to Mr. Mark Tunde is $110 Usd for the paper works backup documentation on your Certified Bank Draft Cheque, take note of that. Once again stop contacting those people, I will advise you to contact Mr. mark Tunde so that he can help you to transfer your fund into your account, instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you down with there lies.
In furtherance to my mail, then also, anytime you receive any kind of email similar to the one I have sent you this very first time I contacted you or any one, I will want you not to respond to it and it should be forwarded to me. Be rest assured that it must be an under ground ploy from the Bank doing an investigation to see if you will also jump at the opportunity of such proposal.
This is a way of carrying out investigation over the legitimacy of the claim you are making to the Certified Bank Draft Cheque. So any time you receive an email similar to the one I have sent you for the very first time even the FBI or I.M.F even anyone at all, I will want you not to respond to it. All you need to do is forward it to me. No matter from whom ever it came from, you must disregard it. It is an under ground investigation from the office and the Bank.
Only respond to this e-mail (email@example.com) with immediate effect and you shall get further details on how your fund will be released. Also call him as soon as you send the e-mail so that you will be given an immediate response.
Contact Agent Name: Mr. Mark Tunde.
Contact Number: +2348032129410
Mrs. Deborah Benson
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND