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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "barrister" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: "INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2017 10:36:38 -0500
Subject: ADVISE: YOUR OUTSTANDING PAYMENT
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
DEPT: WORLD DEBT RECONCILIATION AGENCIES.
ADVISE: YOUR OUTSTANDING PAYMENT =
A power of attorney was forwarded to our office this morning by two =
gentle men, one of them is an American national and he is MR. DAVID =
DEANE by name while the other person is MR. JACK MORGAN by =
name a CANADIAN national.
This gentlemen claimed to be your representative, and this power of attorn=
stated that you are dead, they brought an account to replace your informati=
in other to claim your fund of $12.5 Million Usd which is now lying DORMANT =
and UNCLAIMED, below is the new account they have submitted:
ACCOUNT NO. 2984-0008-66
Be further informed that this power of attorney also stated that you suffer=
ed and =
died of throat cancer. You are therefore given 24hrs to confirm the truth i=
n this =
information, If you are still alive, You are to contact us back immediately=
, Because =
we work 24 hrs just to ensure that we monitor all the activities going on i=
n regards =
to the transfer of beneficiaries inheritance and contract payment.
You are to reply to this office immediately for clarifications on this mat=
ter as we shall =
be available 24 hrs to attend to you and give you the necessary guidelines =
on how to =
ensure that your payment is wired to you immediately.
Just also be informed that any further delay from your side could be danger=
ous, as we =
would not be held responsible of wrong payment.
Barrister. Phillip John
Finance Department Director
International Monetary Funds Agents