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.
- The following fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "international court of justice" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "are expected to pay " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "affidavit " (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Abebe Aemro Selassie" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2018 13:50:26 -0700
Subject: Your Cashier's check is ready for pick up
It has come to the attention of International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Department that you have been going through hard ways in order to see to the release of your fund payment, which has been the handwork of some miscreant elements from this country; we certainly do apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. It is my pleasure to inform you that your payment issue is settled and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund IMF (Christine Lagarde) has issued a Cashier Check valued at ($4.8million) in your name. All you need to receive your entire funds in a cashier’s check is (Notarized Claimant Affidavit) from International Court of Justice for the release of this sum of money to you as the sole benefici
ary, which is a laid down procedu
THE MOST IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS COSTS;
1) Affidavit fee: $45
2) Notarization fee: $42
3) Filing fee: $38
4) Total fee: $125
We're working harder than ever to help people move money quickly, reliably and more efficiently across borders and around the globe. In order to help us serve you better and expeditiously, you are expected to pay this $125 on a reasonable time to enable our legal department obtains the document before the check expires. Please be assured that once we confirmed your payment, your cashier’s check will be registered with DHL, for onward delivery, at the same time we will email a new invoice to you with the tracking number; you will be tracking your shipment online in 24 hours till you received it. Please write down your real and correct name and shipping address, including the postal code and your phone number carefully and completely. I look forward to the pleasure of your kind favorable response fairly soon, in the meantime with kindest regards and best wishes.
Mr. Abebe Aemro Selassie
Director, IMF African Department
International Monetary Fund (IMF)