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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms.Natalia Koliadina" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2017 06:20:21 +0100
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS!! YOUR ATM CARD IS READY FOR SHIPMENT
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
DEPT: WORLD DEBT RECONCILIATION AGENCIES.
Good News, the paying Bank has processed your ATM Card Funds with the help
of INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) and I have collected the Card from them
this morning on your behalf. So can you come down and pick the Card or should
I send it to you by courier means?
Meanwhile, the Bank told me that they will send you the PIN NUMBER direct
for security reasons and they also told me that you can only withdraw $5,000.00
daily from This Card for years because they Credited $1.2 Million inside
I look forward to hear from you.
IMF Resident Representative