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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Christine Lagarde" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2019 00:19:55 +0100
Subject: Fund Compensation Payment:
Fund Compensation Payment:
I am in reference to your outstanding Fund compensation payment of
US$2.5Million approved by International Monetary Fund (IMF), United
Nations (UN) and Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) Nigeria as the
previous scam victims. And we have finalized with our corresponding
bank for them to carry out your compensation funds transaction which
has finally resolved and ratified.
Now you are required to confirm your information so that we can advice
accordingly for a swift final payment. If you are still willing to
receive your funds as the Rightful Owner of this funds. Kindly get
back to me so that we can proceed immediately.
Thanks while shortly waiting to hear from you.
Yours in service,
Mrs. Christine Lagarde
Director International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Headquarters, Washington, D.C.,
United States of America