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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "executive governor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: "Dr.Gene Leon" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2014 12:02:36 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,,,,Reply Urgent
FROM THE DESK OF; DR GENE LEON
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
FINANCIAL MONITORY DEPARTMENT/UNIT
Senior Resident Representative
9 Hon. Justice Mohammed Bello St.
Tel: (+234 70 561 955 45
How are you today? I hope all is well with you and your family? If so glory be to God Almighty.
We sincerely apologize for our late response, it was due circumstances Beyond our control. We wish to inform you about your $9,7M U.S D,
Which One Mrs.Jennet Wright from Arizona came to claim on your behalf.
Please get back to us and let us know if you are the right person who sent her to Come and represent you and bear in mind that payment will be released to Her through wire transfer.
Reconfirm your details to enable us to cross Check with the information, which she told us that you gave to her with the Signature that was presented to the desk of Godwin Emefiele the Executive Governor (CBN).
Meanwhile, you have to re-confirm below information to me immediately in Order to proceed:
Your Full Name: ______________________________
Your Complete Address (Physical Address s with Zip Code not
P.O.BOX) : ______________________________
Name of City of Residence:_______________________________
Direct Telephone Number:____________________________________
Mobile Number:__________________________ __________
5) Working identity Card/Passport/driven License........
Thanks for Your Co-operation
Appointed from IMF.