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:
- "you are advise to" (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "IMF" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 04:33:57 +0200
Subject: Attn: Fund Owner
From: International Monetary Fund [IMF]
OFFICE ADDRESS: #6-8 BURLINGTON PARADE
Attn: Fund Owner!
This is Mr Edwin Williams, General Secretary of International Monetary
Fund [IMF]. I write this letter to you based on our board of Directors
meeting held yesterday to release your unpaid through ATM MasterCard
payment method and send it to your house to avoid anymore delay. We
have converted your total fund of $3.5 Million to ATM MasterCard and
its ready to be shipped, meanwhile you are advise to contact ATM
PAYMENT CENTER Mr. Jason Albert, for the Shipment.
Contact Mr. Jason Albert via the following information below:
Mr. Jason Albert
ATM MasterCard Payment.
Do reconfirm the following information to Mr. Jason Albert to avoid
Home or Office Address:__________
ID If Available__________________
We told Mr. Jason Albert that you will contact him soon for the
shipment of your ATM MASTER CARD and you are advise to use the
following code as Subject when contacting him: the code is (Imf-7710).
Your ATM Pin-code will be given to you as soon as you contact him.
Have a nice day.
Yours In Service
Mr Edwin Williams
IMF General Sec