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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "million 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Paul Williams" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2021 22:44:59 +0100
Subject: Please Send Reply To (email@example.com)
Please Send Reply To (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. Paul Williams
Your ATM Visa Card Will Be Shipped Through USPS To Your Address I
amMr. Paul Williams Office of Internal Audit and Inspection Director
(IMF). This is to inform you officially that after our investigations
with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) and other Security Agencies in the Country for the year,
we discovered that you have not received your fund. I have made it my
first point of call since taking office to settle all Outstanding
Payments accrued to Individuals or Corporations with respect to local
and overseas contract payment, Debt Rescheduling and Outstanding
Compensation payment. This is to make sure all Outstanding payments
are settled . On Behalf of the entire staff of the U.S. Department of
States and the United Nations in collaboration with the World Bank, we
apologize for the delay of your contract payment, Winning or
Inheritance funds from most of African Countries and all the
inconveniences you encountered while pursuing this payment.
However, from the records of outstanding beneficiaries due for payment
with the (IMF), your name was discovered as next on the list of the
outstanding payment who has not yet received their payments. Note that
from the record in my file, your outstanding contract payment is
$40Million United States Dollars loaded in an ATM Visa Card that
allows you to make a daily maximum withdrawal limit of $5,000 Five
Thousand Dollars). I have your file here in my office and it says that
you are not yet to receive your fund valued at $40,000,000,00 (Forty
Million Dollars). These Funds will now be delivered to your designated
address or your preferred payment option. We have perfected all
modules on how to bring this fund to your house without any problem,
but be aware that the United Nations and the United States Government
has only authorized my office to release the Sum of $40,000,000.00 to
you as the true beneficiary of the Fund. Note that your loaded ATM
Visa Card will be mailed to you through Priority Mail Express (USPS)
to your designated address immediately you admit full compliance to
NOTE: Every documentation proof for your fund has been packaged and
sealed to be mailed together with your Visa Card to your address.
Therefore, the only obligation required of you by the laws of the
Government of United States and the financial Monetary Policy of the
Supreme Court, states that; you as a beneficiary must officially
obtain the irrevocable LEGAL STAY OF PROCEED from the Supreme Court of
USA, as a means to justify the legitimacy, transparency and clean bill
of funds from USA so that by the time your funds gets to you, no
authority will question the funds as it has been legally certified
free from all financial Malpractices and facets. The LEGAL STAY OF
PROCEED is valued at a cost of just ($200:00usd) . As soon as the
above mentioned details are received, The LEGAL STAY OF PROCEED will
be secured on your behalf immediately. I need all the compliance that
I can get from you to ensure we get this project accomplished.
Personally, I am very sorry for the delay you have gone through in the
past years. Thanks for adhering to these instructions which are meant
for your sole benefit, once again accept my congratulations in
Thanks for your cooperation as your quick response to this email
notice with adherence to the above instructions is highly anticipated.
Mr. Paul Williams
Please Send Reply To (email@example.com)
Office of Internal Audit and Inspection Director
International Monetary Fund.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kindly Reconfirm Your Full Information.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Your Full
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Your Address.........
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Your Country.........
Your Cell Number.......
Your Next Of Kin.......
Your Valid I'D Card....