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:
- "million us dollars" (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)
- 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.
- +447087668463 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Eddy Wallace" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2016 19:02:11 +0700
Subject: URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL !!!
IMF Headquarters,International Monetary Fund,
700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20431
I am Eddy Wallace of I M F Head Office.Senior Auditor.Our duty is to look into transaction records of Banks,securities companies and financial houses.We also work in collaboration with America, Asia, Africa and Australian Banks. During my investigation on UN-Paid debts in various banks and security companies, I discovered that you are to be paid for an INHERITED /CONTRACT FUND which requires presentation of certain documents and payment of fees before the fund could be released to you
View the website for more information:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5171222.stm
Your email appeared among the beneficiaries, who will receive a part-payment of your contractual sum of 3.8Million US Dollars and has been approved already for months. You are requested to get back to me for more direction and instruction on how to receive your fund.I want to inform you that the problem you are having is from your agent/partners and the lawyer who is representing you, they did not revealed the reason for delay of your payment, and My reason of contacting you is to inform you to stop payments of any such to the lawyer or to the financial house, as you will not receive your fund due to some anomalies we discovered in your file. Please in confirmation that you are still alive, you are advised to reconfirm the below listed information to enable us facilitate an immediate payment for you.
1 Your full names
2 Your present contact address.
3 Your telephone & Fax numbers.
4 Your Occupations/age/sex.
5 Your Private E-mail Address.
6 Valid copy of your personal identification
Once again, I apologize to you on behalf of I M F (International Monetary Fund) for failure to pay your funds in time, which according to records in the system had been long overdue.You are hereby advised to maintain constant contact with me and avoid any interaction with those unscrupulous representatives.
(I M F)