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:
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: "Legislative Officer (IMF)" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2014 22:23:24 -0500
Subject: INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND(IMF)
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND(IMF)
FINANCIAL MONITORY DEPARTMENT/UNIT.
100 Broad Street Main Ave Victoria Island, 20004
HEAD OFFICE NO: Pretoria South Africa.
This email is to enlighten 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 overdue payment due to excessive demand of money from you by both corrupt Bank officials and Courier Companies, Diplomatic agents and fraudulent barristers after which your fund/payment remain unpaid to you.
I am Mr. Joseph Peterson a highly placed official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Johannesburg South Africa were I have been assigned to take responsibility of your funds remittance to you without further delay. 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 across Europe to Africa and Asia and we have decided to put a stop to these nightmares, which is the reason I was appointed to handle your transaction.
All Governmental and Non-Governmental parasites, NGOs, Finance Companies, Banks, Security Companies and Courier companies which have been in contact with you of late have been instructed to quit 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. You are hereby advised NOT to remit further payment to any institutions with respect to your transaction/funds remittance as your fund will be transferred to you directly from our source. I hope this is clear. Any action contrary to this instruction is at your own risk.
Respond to this e-mail on (email@example.com) with immediate effect, please do reconfirm your personal details such as your Full name, Full Address, Age, Occupation and send a scanned copy of your drivers license or international passport for identification and we shall give you further details on how your funds will be released to you. Kindly report any suspected scam/fraud email or ongoing transaction to this office for investigation and wait for feedback. God bless you.
Mr. Joseph Peterson (Director)
International Monetary Fund
Head Department Pretoria S.A.