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.
- 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.
- +447024051757 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Alex Wash"<email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2015 08:59:19 -0400
Subject: IN GOOD FAITH (PLS READ)
Attention: Honorable Beneficiary,
The International Monetary Funds, IMF has authorized my Office to settle all the Foreign Debts owed by the Benin Republic, South African and British Government.The IMF Foreign Policy and Currency Regulation offered a loan of $68 billion to Benin Republic, South African and British Government. Based on the Agreement $8 billion was mapped out for the Foreign Debts and your name was one of those Beneficiaries to be paid through my Office.
Based on the agreement mentioned above all the money you have or had spent in the course of getting this money in the past or present must be included as no money will be lost. Therefore, you are directed to state categorically the total amount you had spent before and forward it to my Office now before the total payment will be submitted to the IMF HQ for final approval on your behalf.
Your payment this time will be taken place immediately after all legal processes in regards to this transaction is validated. You are hereby requested to respond to this email with the information's requested below:
Your Occupation (Please specify if you are retired)
Your Direct and valid Phone (Home, Work and Cell)
My direct tel phone number is +44 7024051757
Kindly reply now.
IMF COORDINATOR ENGLAND
LONDON / UNITED KINGDOM