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.
- 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.
- +447053823158 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. John McCall" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2014 09:54:02 +0800
Subject: Re: Read And Get Back To Me Urgently.
YOUR PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
Dr. JOHN MCCALL
CALL ME +447053823158
INSTRUCTION TO RELEASE YOUR FUND OF $10.5M
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 payment due to excessive demand for money from you by both corrupt Bank officials, Diplomats and Courier Companies after which your fund remain unpaid to you.
I am Dr. John McCall a highly placed official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It may interest you to know that reports have reached our office by so many correspondences on the uneasy way which people like you are treated by Various Banks and Courier Companies/Diplomat 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.
All Governmental and Non-Governmental prostates, 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 payment.
The most annoying thing is that the bad officials wont tell you the truth that on no account will they ever release the fund to you, instead they allow you spend money unnecessarily, I do not intend to work here all the days of my life, I can release this fund to you if you can guarantee me that you will follow my instructions without remorse.
You are hereby advised NOT to remit further payment to any institutions with respect to your transaction as your fund will be brought to you with the aid of a reliable Diplomat or transferred to you directly into your account from our source.
I hope this is clear. Any action contrary to this instruction is at your own risk. Respond to this e-mail with immediate effect and we shall give you further details on how your fund will be released.
Reconfirm the information bellow
1. Full Name:
6. Phone: Mobile/Home:
7. State of Origin:
8. Copy of your identity Card:
Also Call me as soon as you receive the letter so that you will be given an immediate response
Dr. John McCall