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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: WORLD BANK GRANT PAYMENT <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 13:36:43 -0800
Subject: GREETINGS DEAR BENEFICIARY
WORLD BANK GROUP HEADQUARTERS SWITZERLAND, 7 Bis Avenue de la Paix
1202 Geneva, Switzerland.
( Worldbanktransfer.email@example.com )
UNITED NATION HEADQUARTER NEW YORK, 405 East 42nd Street, New York,
NY, 10017, USA.
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, 700 19th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20431.
The World Bank has announced a new US$130 million grant to support 130
individuals all over the world, addressing their financial needs to
manage their own budgets and engage on investment decisions to promote
local economic development.
This is officially informing you that the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
and UNITED NATION have recommended you to receive this fund.
With the support of the program, a new system for transiting the fund
from the World Bank to the individuals was successfully launched. The
new system is based on a set of minimum requirements that individuals
must meet to receive the fund, that works as an incentive for
improvements in diplomatic courier delays and borders requirement
The beneficiary budget plans must target investments in especially
under-equipped neighborhoods, targeting approximately 50,000 citizens
To this effect, this is to guarantee you that your allocated fund of
$1 Million USD is 100% risk free and all documentations has been
procured on your behalf to prove the authenticity of your payment and
also to protect you from any breach of law.
We write to get you informed today that everyone selected for the fund
will have it sent to He/She by a secured Diplomatic Mailing Company
after meeting all necessary requirements, T&C Applies.
Please re-confirm your full details for verification so we are rest
assured we are in touch with the right person.
We expect your co-operation as we earnestly await your response.
Yours In Service
Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.