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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: Mr andrew Lemon <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mr andrew Lemon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:19:33 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary. Sir/Madam
FROM THE DESK OF MR ANDREW LEMON/MS CHRISTINE LAGARDE
DIRECTOR OF PAYMENT WORLD BANK AUDITORS, AFRICA
Attention: Beneficiary. Sir/Madam
This is to inform you that after board meeting with IMF Director Ms. Christine Lagarde,Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and FBIÂ including United State Government we have concluded to transfer your (US$9.7M) to you immediately you provide this details listed below.
1) Your full name.
2) Contact Address
3) Phone, fax and mobile #.
6) Your bank details
7) Passport Copy or Driverâs License Copyâ¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦â¦
In receipt of the above information and your payment will be approved and paid toÂ you by bank to bank wire transfer to your nominated bank account. You are advised to get back to me immediately for more information.
MR ANDREW LEMON/MS CHRISTINE LAGARDE
DIRECTOR OF PAYMENT/ SPECIAL DUTIES
WORLD BANK AUDITORS