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:
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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: Pastor Carlos Santos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2021 11:43:59 -0700
RE: Approved Reconciliation Payment
I hope this email meets you well, sound and healthy.
I write to inform you that I have personally endorsed a reconciliation
payment of $5,750,000 USD (114.22 BTC) in your favor for immediate
IMF Approval No: 44587P/2021
Reference No: 1HE45643CP530154A
Secret Code No: XXCN015X
I have over the weeks studied the circumstances surrounding the
reasons why your approved overdue payment has not been fulfilled and
must be honest to you, I was perplexed at the decision to seize and
confiscate your fund despite the series of fund release payments you
made over the years to get hold of your approved fund. It is true
that there were minor flaws in the manner at which the initial
approvals for the payment of your seized fund where obtained, but you
deserved considerations; at least for the efforts you put in getting
your payment by complying to the directives of the concerned
To be honest, you chance of receiving this fund is at most 1%
considering the various government and central banks policies and fund
movement regulations. You can only receive this approved fund through
digital currency, i.e. cryptocurrency based platform that is not under
central banks control.
The good news is that I took it upon myself to discreetly endorse this
reconciliation payment. Your payment advice with REF:
1HE45643CP530154A have been prepared in crypto base for your BTC
payment. I have already forwarded your payment mandate to the
Remittance Director in charge with stringent instructions to
facilitate this transfer swiftly and with utmost confidentiality.
Do let me know if this is a welcomed development by you then I will
disclose to you the contacts of the financial institution, so that you
can contact the Remittance Director himself, otherwise I will have to
revoke the payment mandate with immediate effect.
Pastor Carlos Santos
IMF Financial Consultant
Social Connect: facebook.com/csantos1001