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:
- 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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- center nigeria head office on his email address: (email@example.com) or (firstname.lastname@example.org) and also send him the (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "FRED JAMES" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2016 12:16:44 -0700
Subject: From International Monetary Fund. 55
This is to officially inform you that an ATM Card that worth $10,000.000.00usd (TEN MILLION UNITED STATE Dollars) has been issued as a compensation payment for all the short listed 2015/2016 scam victims whose email address was recovered during the recent internet probing and investigation process.
Your email address was found among the list so we are in no doubt believed that those syndicates must have collect money from you through their dubious criminal ways.
It was on these very recommendation that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in conjunction with the United State Government after series of meeting held came up with a sanction to all West African countries to compensate all the foreign victims with a payment benefit of $10,000.000.00usd (TEN MILLION UNITED STATE Dollars) each in order to restore the Global Economy to the enviable standard of respectability.
Please note that upon receipt of your response we will process and send you ATM Card Payment and you will use it to withdraw your money in any ATM machine in any part of the world, so if you like to receive your fund, contact the director in charge of the compensation payment at INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND SETTLEMENT CENTER NIGERIA HEAD OFFICE on his email address: (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (email@example.com) and also send him the following information.
1. Full Name:
2. Phone Number:
3. Mailing Address:
4. Age and Sex:
your immediate compliance to this will expedite actions on your Payment because here in this office, we have a lot of listed victims to be settled.
>From International Monetary Fund.
Barr. FRED JAMES----