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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "barr." (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: "Dr. Robert Carter" <email@example.com>
We wish to inform you that you are among those whose pending payment has been approved by the IMF in conjunction with the World Bank. The fund release has been delayed as a result of your dealings with unauthorized individuals, so you are advised to stop every communication with anybody/institution regarding the payment.
These funds originated from unpaid contract sums, inheritance/next of kin and lottery beneficiaries that originated from Europe, Asia Plus Middle East, America and Africa. You are among the list of individuals and companies whose unpaid funds have been approved for payment under the supervision of the International Monetary Fund Headquarters here in Washington, DC USA.
We do hereby ask you to contact your attorney Barr. Mike Hanssen within 48 hours of receiving this notification.
His contact email is; firstname.lastname@example.org
For security reasons get across to him with the following details;
Your full name
Contact telephone number
You are to send him $350 only and this will enable him normalize the documents in your name and advise you on how to make your claim.
Dr. Robert Carter
Coordinator, International Settlement Unit