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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Larry Ellis (I.M.F)" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2020 15:39:55 +0200
Subject: Att: Kindly Get Back At Me Immedaitely.
To Your Very Kind Attention: Fund Owner.
The IMF Board of Trustees,after due verification have instructed me to contact you in respect of payment re-activation to your nominated account.Your payment credentials have been released and your payment release code is B601.
Your part payment inheritance fund is One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars USD$1.5 Million. Having received these vital payment numbers, therefore you are qualified now to received and confirm your payment with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) American Region immediately within the next 24hrs. We assure you that your payment will get to you as long as you follow my directives and instructions. We have decided to give you a CODE, THE CODE IS: 601.
Please, any time you receive a mail with the name Mr Ellis Larry , check if there is CODE (B601) if the code is not written, please delete the massage from your box! You are hereby advised NOT to remit further payment to any institutions with respect to your transaction as your fund will be transferred to you directly from our source. I hope this is clear. Any action contrary to this instruction is at your own risk.
Respond to Mr Larry ellis on this e-mail(firstname.lastname@example.org) with immediate effect and we shall give you further details on how your fund will be released.
Mr Larry Ellis (I.M.F)