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:
- "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)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Kayleigh McEnany" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2021 08:31:10 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary
GREETING TO YOU:MY NAME IS Mrs KAYLEIGH McENANY
This is to inform you that the International Monetary Fund [IMF] and
the United Nations [UN] is compensating all the scammed victims
$5.3,million United States Dollars, Your email address was mentioned
to the United States Secret Service by one of the Scammers who was
arrested. Meanwhile this Compensation department has been mandated by
the IMF and the United Nations to transfer your compensation funds to
you, through Online Transfer Payment,ATM Card,Delivery which is 100 %
Guarantee for payment to you as one of the scammed victim.
Furthermore we advice you to stop any further communication with any
other person(s) or office(s) concerning any transaction that you might
have lost your hard earned money, to avoid losing more money to other
group of scammers who are on the FBI wanted list and are still on the
run and for this reason we want to warn you not to communicate or
duplicate this message to anyone for any reason whatsoever as the
United States Secretary Service are already on the trace for the other
we are here by advice to confirm your personal details below to the
IMF/UNCC head office to receive your Compensation without delay.
1) Your contact address:
3) Your country/nationality:
4) Your telephone/mobile number(s):
5) Your Occupation:
6) Your Age/gender:
7) Your ID card:
8) Your Full Name
Anticipating your urgent cooperation in other to receive your payment.
kindly contact Us via our company email address [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Thank You,looking forward to hear from you as ASAP you receive this message
Communication Secretary Of IMF