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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: " Christine" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2018 04:50:56 -0700
Subject: This is a matter of urgency please get back to us
Write to inform you that your International Monetary Fund Compensation payment valued US$1000, 000.00 (One Million United States Dollars) only is been processed and will be scheduled for release upon your prompt response to this letter. It is also important you note that from our record, you have been in contact with some unauthorized officials and financial institutions, such as Africa banks, Asia banks, Europe Banks, Courier Service, Diplomatic agent, Courts, and United States Banks, and due to such act some abnormalities have been observed in your compensation file, which has to be corrected. Also, you are to confirm your personal information to the accredited payment officer, for verification and authenticity of the formal information for onward rectification.
The International Monetary Fund Unit IMF Payment Clearing Center has been instructed to use the approved Foreign Exchange Allocation Order (FEAO) to clear all outstanding payment with immediate effect, with the help of our Payment Officer Mrs. Mrs. Christine Lagarde It's more legalized manner and approved by the United Nations, for you to communicate with the payment officer on his private email more often for recording purpose and save for future use, to ensure your payment file is process in accordance with the specified instructions from the International Monetary Fund IMF Compensation Commission.
You are hereby advice to get back to us for final reconciliation and release of your payment.
You will either receive your funds through Swift Transfer, Certified International Bank Draft Cheque Or ATM Master Card and Be inform that any option you choose has an Official Charge to process your transaction. Below are the given options to choose one
No: (1) Swift Transfer 24 hours Service (Official Charge) $330 - Reason of Payment (Transfer Charge)
No: (2) ATM Master Card 48 hours Service (Official Charge ) $270. 00 - Reason of Payment (Delivery / Insurance Charge)
No : (3) Certified Bank Draft Cheque 48 hours Service (Official Charge ) $230.00 - Reason of Payment (Delivery / Insurance Charge )
NOTE : The Official Charge can't be Deducted from the principal amount due to the Irrevocable insurance Policy (IIP) associated with your Fund from International Monitory Fund Unite (IMF) it was constituted and officially submitted to the "Court of Justice" that the Official Charge can't be Deducted from the principal amount.
You are to get back to us once you make your choice between the three options as we direct you more on how to send the fee for further processing having noted the cost of each of the option.
This is subject you can discuss with the officer in charge by quoting the following reference to (UN-FM- GBXXX- 33NO22/018). To this end, we urge you to establish contact with Mrs. . Mrs Christine Lagarde to make necessary arrangements for the payment of the fund to you and Be inform that on your contact to us in choosing your option to enable us proceed immediately on your transaction payment file data.
Should you need any further clarification or assistance, do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.
Mrs Christine Lagarde
IMF Information Office