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:
- "million united state 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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "IMF&WORLD BANK ORG" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 04:46:47 -0800
Subject: Attn:Dear Beneficiary"s
IMF& (World Bank Org) Head Office.
IMF With World Bank
Global Poverty Alleviation Programmer
Your Ref: 35460021.
Your E-mail and name appeared Shortlisted in our payment schedule list of beneficiaries that will receive their funds in this first quarter payment of the year for poverty alleviation programmed.
Now your new Payment, World Bank Approval No; WB5685P, White House Approved No: WH44CV, Reference No.-35460021. Your part payment inheritance fund is One million five hundred Thousand United State Dollars (USD $ 1.5Million).
I hope this is clear. Any action contrary to this instruction is at your own risk. You are requested to fill and send this information for verification purpose, so that, the bank in charge of the remittance will verify your account before making your fund transfer, your fund value of $ 1.5million united state dollars will be paid to you through online banking method kindly Contact Asia payment center and submit the required information.
YOUR FULL NAME.
Kindly submit the listed details to the payment center via ( email@example.com,) As soon as we receive the required details we shall start the immediate release of the fund.
We look forward to your expedite response.
World Bank Group Chief Financial.
Dr( mrs) Doris Thompson ph.D
(Chairman) IMF Global Debt Committee
Representative Office in ASIA REGION