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:
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: John Lee <email@example.com>
Reply-To: John Lee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:37:01 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: GOOD DAY AND URGENT UPDATE:
Â YOUR PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
HEAD OFFICE NO: 23 LAGOS STATE,
GOOD DAY AND URGENT UPDATE:
THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT YOUR OVER DUE INHERITANCE/CONTRACT FUNDS VALUE $5,MILLION HAS BEEN GAZETTE TO BE RELEASED AT NEW Natwest Bank for Online set up.I SAW YOUR NAME (IN THE CENTRAL COMPUTER AMONG THE LIST OF UNPAID BENEFICIARIES, CONTRACTORS, LOTTERY WINNERS,INHERITANCE NEXT OF KIN, THAT WAS ORIGINATED FROM Nigeria AMONG THE LIST OF INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES THAT YOUR UNPAID FUND HAS BEEN LOCATED to US.
YOUR NAME APPEARED AMONG THE BENEFICIARIES WHO WILL RECEIVE A PART-PAYMENT OF $5,MILLION HAS BEEN APPROVED ALREADY FOR YOU. MEANWHILE, A MAN CAME TO OUR OFFICE FEW DAYS AGO WITH A LETTER AUTHORITY, CLAIMING TO BE YOUR TRUE REPRESENTATIVE. HERE ARE HIS INFORMATION'S FOR YOU TO CONFIRM TO THIS OFFICE IF THIS MAN IS TRULY FROM YOU OR NOT SO THAT WE WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING INTO THE WRONG ACCOUNT NAME:
NAME: MR.BROWN JOHNSON
BANK NAME: CITI BANK
BANK ADDRESS: ARIZONA, USA.
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 6503809428.
PLEASE, DO RECONFIRM TO THIS OFFICE, AS A MATTER OF URGENCY IF THIS MAN IS FROM YOU.I APOLOGIZE TO YOU ON BEHALF OF IMF (INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND). Web-sat:http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/memdir/officers.htm FUTURE TO PAY YOUR FUNDS IN TIME, WHICH ACCORDING TO RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM HAD BEEN LONG OVERDUE.PLEASE GET BACK TO ME IMMEDIATELY TO ENABLE US FORWARD YOUR INFORMATION OF OUR PAYING BANK IN Natwest Bank for Online set up, SO THAT YOUR FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFER to YOU WITHIN 48 HOURS.
MR. John Lee
MANAGING DIRECTOR IMF
CONTACT EMAIL : email@example.com