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:
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Barry Haag" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 04:25:05 -0800
Subject: YOUR OUTSTANDING PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
DEPT: WORLD DEBT RECONCILIATION AGENCIES.
ADVISE: YOUR OUTSTANDING PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
A power of attorney was forwarded to our office this morning by two gentlemen, one of them is an American
national and he is MRS CATHY RICE by name while the other person is MR. JACK MORGAN by name a
These gentlemen claimed to be your representative, and this power of attorney stated that you are dead;
they brought an account to replace your information in other to claim your fund of $5.5 Million Usd which is
now lying DORMANT and UNCLAIMED, below is the new account they have submitted:
ACCOUNT NO. 2984-0008-66
Be further informed that this power of attorney also stated that you suffered and died of throat cancer.
You are therefore given 24hrs to confirm the truth in this information, If you are still alive, You are to
contact us back immediately with the below information, Because we work 24 hrs just to ensure that we
monitor all the activities going on in regards to the transfer of beneficiaries inheritance and contract
Your Home/Office Address:
Your Age/Sex and Id Card:
You are to reply immediately for clarifications on this matter as we shall be available 24 hrs to give you the
necessary guidelines on how to ensure that your payment is wired or delivered to you immediately.
Just also be informed that any further delay from your side could be dangerous, as we would not be held
responsible of wrong payment.
Dr. Barry Haag
(Director of Operation) IMF