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"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:

Fraud email example:

From: JOHN LEE <>
Date: Wed, 13 May 2020 14:28:08 +0100
Subject: Attention: Important Notice!!

International Monetary Fund (imf)
700 19th St Nw, Washington, Dc 20431,
United States of America.
Payment Desk
Our Help Line: +1(202)810-0056

Attention: Important Notice!!

This message is reaching you from office of the senior Senior
Representative of the International Monetary Fund(IMF)Washington Dc
United States of America, (Mr. John Lee).

This is to notify you that my office has received immediate fund release
order of your long overdue payment to you, which is valued at valued at
($15.5 Million) Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars which is now in the possession of the SOUTH STATE BANK here in
the USA where it would be release to you, with the assistance and help
of the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND(IMF) which is this office.

You are required to follow the directives and instructions as may be
given to you by this office, for your fund release in order to receive
your fund without delay.

Kindly contact us urgently as a matter of importance if you wish to
proceed, and provide the below stated information. Note, you will
require to pay for the IMF payment Release Bound administrative charge
of US$2,500 dollars only for file endorsement processing and fund
release charge.

Here is the information you are required to re-confirm to my office

(1) Full Name.............
(2) Country/State/ City Name.............
(3) Delivery Address.........
(4) Occupation.............
(5) Sex..................
(6) Age.................
(7) Telephone Number...........
(8) A Copy of Your Passport/ Drivers Licenses........................

Contact Person
Mr. John Lee
Tel: (202)810-0056
Email Address: (

As soon as you provide the information(s) above, we will direct you on
how to send the file endorsement processing charge.

Yours in Service
Mr. John Lee.
International Monetary Fund
Senior Representative Payment Desk

Anti-fraud resources: