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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 (Yahoo, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "I.M.F" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "I.M.F" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 01:50:17 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: We expect your urgent response
United Nations /International Monetary Funds
Switzerland Department of Humanitarian Affairs
30 Leicester Square. City,UK.
Country, United Kingdom.
Postal/Zip Code, WC2H 7LA
Our Ref: IMF/Uk/09112
Â FINAL RELEASE OF YOUR PAYMENT
Â We have actually been authorized by the UN secretary general, and the governing body of the UNITED NATIONS monetary unit, to investigate the unnecessary delay of your inheritance fund, recommended and approved in your favor in various banks like Barclay's bank, HSBC National Wide Bank NatWest Bank also Security Company. During the course of our investigation, we discovered with dismay that your payment have been unnecessarily delayed by corrupt officials of the Banks and Security firms who are trying to divert your money into their private account. To stop this, security for your funds was organized in the form of personal Identification number (PIN) Automated Teller Machine (ATM) CARD. This will enable only you have direct Control over the fund. We will handle this payment ourselves to avoid the hopeless situation created by the Officials of the banks and Security firms.
Â We have obtained an irrevocable payment guarantee on your Payment. We are happy to inform you that you're entire funds have been credited in your favor through Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card. You are therefore advice to send your contact details to the officer in charge to collect your original payment slip with your ATM card as follows:
International Audit unit,
United Nations Liaison Office London
Â They will issue you an ATM card that you can use to withdraw money in any ATM machine in any part of the world, but the maximum is Ten Thousand dollars per day. So if you like to receive your funds through this means kindly let us know by contacting the card payment center
Â NOTE: YOU ARE ADVICE TO FURNISH PETER WILLIAM WITH YOUR CORRECT CONTACT DETAILS.AND ALSO BE INFORMED THAT THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID NOW Â£4.7 MILLION POUNDS THE REST WILL BE PAID TO YOU IN A LATER DATE.
We expect your urgent response to this email to enable us monitor this payment effectively thereby making contact with Peter William as directed to avoid further delay.
Head of Finance (H.F)