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:
- 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.
- 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. X" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2021 12:50:05 -0700
Subject: From Ms. Kristalina Georgieva
Dear Sir / Madam,
I write to inform you that the GOVERNMENT OF UNITED STATES in conjunction with International Monetary Fund (IMF), has resolved to refund each victim of scam (Advance Fee FRAUD) the sum of $7,500.000 (Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars only) On that note, I seek your consent to collaborate with me so that I will put your name as one of the victims entitle and legible for this refunds for our mutual benefits. If you are interested in actualizing this deal with me respond back urgently with your below details to enable me put your name among those that will benefit from the refund this month.
1 Your full names/ address.
2 Your phone number.
3 Your age/sex and occupation.
Please note that the process of filing for this refund is risk free and has nothing to do with illegality because I have perfected every plan for the smooth processing of the refunds. Bear in mind that our working ratio shall be 50% each as soon as we get the refund in your name.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Kristalina Georgieva
International Monetary Fund