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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Emma Johnson" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 10:02:39 -0400
Subject: Re: UNITED BANK OF AFRICA FINANCIAL MONITORY DEPARTMENT/UNIT.
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
1900 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20431
UNITED STATE OF AMERICA.
Email received and contents well noted, I have just received your email and all contents well noted. Well I will like you to know that the total sum of $9,500,000.00 (Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand) has been endorsed and approved for payment to you. Being the second batch of payment issued to various individuals, Companies, and Organizations, we will delight in following the procedures in the course of payment for our first batch receivers.
To safe-guard enlisted/qualified Clients/Beneficiaries from further extortion of unnecessary payments of any kind whatsoever, I have been appointed, accredited and endorsed as an attorney to work under your care in this regards, I am a well known activist, a human rights lawyer and knowledgeable in various fields.
Be informed that your payment will come in an ATM CARD below:
ATM VISA/MASTER CARD
This payment order will be in an ATM Visa or Master Card in that amount programmed to dispense a maximum of $5000.00USD for each use and can be used for a maximum of 4 times in a day after each 6 hours hence it can dispense a total of $24,000.00USD in a day.
Instructions have been given to the endorsed paying bank to issue an ATM Visa/Master Card in that amount in your favor upon the receipt of your option.
The Cyber Crime Division of the FBI, British Interpol and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission gathered information from the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) on how some people have lost outrageous sums of money to these impostors. As a result of this, we hereby advise you to stop communication with any one not referred to you by us.
As a human rights lawyer I will render free legal services to all beneficiaries including you who have been listed on our second batch payment schedule. In other words, the body will take care of flight fees, service charges and other contingencies throughout my one month stay in Johannesburg until they confirm that you have received and confirmed your payments.
Hence there are no fee or charges required from you the beneficiary to ensure that you are on the right track to receive your funds apart from the official delivery charges which is to be paid to the Shipment company for the delivery of your parcel. I am very much conversant with the delivery and all international law and will perfectly guide you through.
The only Money you are to remit is the delivery charges of $500 which is going to be sent directly to the delivery agency after which i shall schedule for the shipment of your overdue funds.
NOTE: Do disregard any email you get from any impostors or offices claiming to be in possession of your funds, you are hereby advice only to be in contact with me as I have been given strict instructions to work under your care and give you guidelines until you receive your overdue funds. Also you are to forward any emails you get from impostors directly to me so we could act upon, commence investigation and give advice to avoid been ripped off.
Kindly get back to me as soon as possible.
Pastor Mr. Emma Johnson