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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: OFFICE OF THE FUND MANAGEMENT BUREAU<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 11:09:06 +0100
Subject: $10.5M UNCLAIMED FUNDS NOTIFICATION
UNCLAIMED FUNDS NOTIFICATION
OFFICE OF THE FUND MANAGEMENT BUREAU (FMB)
1A Broughton Christian Street
SW8 3QJ London UK
UNCLAIMED FUND NOTIFICATION
I am Mr Frances Carter of the newly inaugurated Fund Management Bureau (FMB) by the United Nations and International Monetary Fund (IMF). My agency has the mandate to recover unpaid debts associated with NNPC contracts, Lottery funds, inheritance funds, unpaid loans and grants etc and to ensure that the approved beneficiaries receive their funds as approved in their favours.
It may interest you to know that in the course of our assignment, we discovered that the total sum of Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars ($10.5M) approved with Ref Number: UK/9420X2/68 and Batch Number: 074/05/ZY369 in favour of Mrs Deborah Lucas by the UN/IMF is still unclaimed because the beneficiary is dead.
With our mandate and the resolution reached, myself and colleagues have completed arrangement to have this fund paid to a trusted and reliable partner by Bank ATM card or by Diplomatic cash delivery/cash payment.
If you are interested in this financial opportunity, you are required to reconfirm your particulars for hitch free release of the funds.
Be informed that upon the funds release, that your share of the funds is 50% while myself and colleagues will receive 40% and 10% will be use to offset all expenses incurred by both parties.
Get back to me on email address: email@example.com if you are interested in this offer.
Mr Frances Carter