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:
- 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:
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Ms Mary Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2015 05:11:55 +0100
Subject: YOURS TRULY
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
gentle men, one of them is an American national and he is MR DAVID
DEANE by name while the other person is MR... JACK MORGAN by name a
This gentleman 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 (US$9.7M) which is now
lying DORMANT and UNCLAIMED, below is the new account they have
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, because we work 24 hrs just to ensure
that we monitor all the activities going on in regards to the transfer
of beneficiaryâs inheritance and contract payment.
You are to respond immediately for clarifications on this matter as we
shall be available 24 hrs to attend to you and give you the necessary
guidelines on how to ensure that your payment is wired to you
Please resend your Full Name Residential Address, Telephone Number,
Mobile Number if any, Age and Marital Status. Core Job or Occupation,
A valid form of identification
Just also be informed that any further delay from your side could be
dangerous, as we would not be held responsible of wrong payment.
MR EDWARD CLEEFF/ MS MARY WILLIAMS
DIRECTOR OF PAYMENT/ SPECIAL DUTIES
WORLD BANK AUDITORS