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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Philippe Le Houérou" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 20:41:22 -0800
Subject: REGARDS TO YOUR PAYMENT ( CONGRATULATION ) !!
We are pleased to inform you that your E-MAIL ADDRESS has been selected to receive the sum of $5,000,000.00 (Five Million United States Dollars) in the IFC Global Development Funding Program. Your file Reference Number is (IFC-060290_EC).
All beneficiaries were selected through IFC global random integrated system drawn in 27 million E-mail addresses via the Internet and lucky beneficiaries do not have to purchase any ticket to benefit in this IFC Global Development Funding Program. It has been agreed upon and has been signed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Management Team and the World Bank Group Board of Directors. Forward your full details such as your name: Telephone Number: Age: Sex: Address and Your file Reference, for processing and payment of your IFC Global Development Fund.
Kindly forward your details to:
Contact Person: Rev. Robert Mba.
======= Chief Financial Officer (World Bank Group)=======
We are hoping to hear from you as soon as you received your IFC Global Development Fund payment. For more details about IFC Global Development Funding Program, visit our website: www.ifc.org
Mr. Philippe Le Houérou (Chief Executive Officer of IFC)
CC: Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva (Chief Executive of the World Bank)
CC: Mr. Christopher A. Wray (FBI, Director)