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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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: "Ms. Christine Lagarde" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2019 14:08:38 -0700
Subject: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION OF YOUR FUNDS.
International Monetary Fund.(IMF)
Address:700 19th St NW, Washington,
DC 20431,United States
My name is Ms. Christine Lagarde and I work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), I am writing you to let you know that finally your ATM Card worth $4,500,000.00
USD has been delivered through FEDEX to Mr. Peter Perry for activation, who works with the IMF where it is going to be activated before final delivery to your home
address. You are simply advice to contact our Claim Officer Mr. Peter Perry (email@example.com) . You can call him on this number or text +1(708)-888-1992
with the below details as stated.?
Contact him with your data as stated below:
1. Your Full Name.........................
2. Your Full Address Where You Want the Courier Company to Send Your Funds.
3. Your Age...................................
5. Cell/Telephone Numbers...............
7. ID Card....................
Note: The only fee you are to send for the activation of your ATM Card is just $100 USD. So make sure you don't send him more than $100 USD. Your ATM Card is already
with him once everything is done your tracking number to track your package will be sent to you.
Ms. Christine Lagarde
International Monetary Fund (IMF)