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:
- "consignment " (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)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Grace Small" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2019 06:59:13 +0100
Subject: 1, UNREAD MESSAGE,
How are you doing today? I hope all is well with you?
My names are Mrs Grace Small. From International Monetary Fund Unit USA. I contacted you regarding the release of your compensation fund. Your payment file was brought to my office and after going through the process and arrangement of your FUND RELEASE, I decided to email you to know if you are available to receive your FUND. Be known that your NAME and email address was found among IMF Global award winner of 2019. You are lucky to be part of the IMF Global award winner of 2019.
This FUND we are talking about is the sum of $8.2Million Usdollars. It was arranged to be sent to your through BANK to BANK TRANSFER / ATM CREDIT CARD.
DELIVERY/ CONSIGNMENT BOX DELIVERY.
You have to fill below information and get back to me as soon as possible for immediate process of your FUND.
FULL NAME :::::
HOME ADDRESS :::::::
TELEPHONE NUMBER :::::::::
PASSPORT OR DRIVING LICENSE ::::::
You have to choose one option on how you want to receive your FUND.
(1) BANK TO BANK TRANSFER (WIRE)
(2) CONSIGNMENT BOX DELIVERY.
(3) ATM CREDIT CARD DELIVERY.
Choose above listed process for your fund release to you.
Furthermore : You have to bear in mind that each option required good processing with TRUST and HONEST. I shall be expecting to hear from you as soon as
possible for immediate release of your FUND.
Mrs Grace Small.
IMF vice Director USA.
( email@example.com )