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:
- "insurance fee " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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 (Outblaze.com, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Kristalina Geogevia " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2021 10:07:07 +0100
Subject: Dear Email Owner,
I'm Kristalina Georgieva the managing director and Financial Counselor
of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ATM Center Manager
International Reconciliation, I have been informed by the IMF board of
directors to anticipate your message.
Your pin number has been verified and confirmed the relate to a parcel
with ATM Debit CARD contain your Overdue payment Funds. The
ATM Debit CARD has been issued in your name and we have conclude the
processing of all documents that will facilitate the clearance of the
ATM CARD in any Bank.
These documents have been securely sealed and package for security
reasons which make it impossible for anyone to view it until it's been
delivered to you and also your parcel is protected by a hardcover
insurance policy, which makes it impossible to deduct any amount from
the money before it has been delivered to you.
The ATM card package has been deposited to TNT company Please Contact
TNT Director Mr. Bernard Solicitor at
(Bernard_lawfirm@consultant.com ) Call or Text at his Phone Numbers: #
+1 234 755 6453 You should Choose delivery option below
that will be convenient to you when contacting him.
(1) TNT Delivery Company
Duration for Delivery: 72hrs
Insurance fee: US$50.00
(2) TNT Delivery Company
Duration for Delivery 24hrs
Insurance fee US$100.00
Kindly confirm receipt of the mail with the delivery option most
convenient to you within 24hrs And you can send the fee to them via
Failure to pay the delivery fee will mean refusal of ATM DEBIT CARD
delivery by the delivery service so as to enable this company secure
good name they have always maintained, since the package delivery
without insurance will be illegal. Insurance is the International law
guiding the authentic delivery document.
We look forward to serving you better.
Ms. Kristalina Georgieva
The Managing Director &
Financial Counselor of International Monetary Fund (IMF)