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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: IMF OFFICE <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 2016 18:41:16 +0200
Subject: Attention please
We the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Investigation Bureau
Washington,DC in conjunction with other relevant Investigation agencies
,we wish to inform you that we recently received several reports through
our Global intelligence monitoring network that you have a transaction
which wasn't accomplished after series of process and required
Consequently we finally scheduled the dispatch of your funds to the
Sainsbury's Bank United Kingdom for easy transfer of this funds to your
account without hitches, this decision was made due to the rate of
corruption and scam reports perpetrated by Individuals, Offices and
Government, therefore your funds was ordered to be moved or transferred
to United Kingdom immediately.
The transfer of the fund to Sainsbury's Bank United Kingdom was
successfully executed this morning and we just received a confirmation
from the Sainsbury's Bank United Kingdom that the fund valued the sum of
of Â£5,000.000.00 (Five Million pounds Sterling) was received by the Bank
Management, therefore we are official contacting you in this regard
letting you know that your funds are presently at Sainsbury's Bank
Therefore you are advised to contact them immediately with the
information outlined below: Sainsbury's Bank United Kingdom
Contact Person: Mr. Aldrich Bond
Phone: +44 203 290 3118
Furthermore, you are expecting to Identify your self with this code of
conduct (CO90991031), this code was given by the General Manager of the
Bank this morning for verification or easy identification so you must
use it include your email. You will be recognized as soon as you send
this code, your full name and address to the bank's email address stated
above,you can also contact any of their telephone numbers stated above.
Finally, you are advised to completely terminated all your conversation
or correspondent with any other individual, authority or office in
Africa who claims to be in custody of your funds because your funds was
official transferred to United Kingdom this morning under our
instructions. You completely quit all conversations with any other
individual or group except the Sainsbury's Bank United Kingdom. Comply
with all their instruction and direction accordingly and they will
transfer your funds without any delay,according to their General Manager
you are not going to pay any charge for this transfer therefore adhere
to their instruction to enable them serve your fervently.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Investigation Bureau Washington, DC