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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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: ngeneokpneke ngeneokpneke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2021 15:19:24 +0000
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
International Debt Settlement Unit,
# 1900, PRESIDENT AV.DU
In fact, we have been authorized by the newly appointed Minister of
Finance and the governing body of the United Nations Monetary Unit to
investigate unclaimed funds that have long been owed in the government
basket at the United Nations, which has confused owners into thinking
that they have been defrauded by scammers using the United Nations
name, during the course of our investigation. According to our
system's data storage log with your email address, your payment is
among the list of 150 beneficiaries categorized as: Undelivered
Lottery Fund / Unpaid Lottery Fund / Incomplete Transfer Inheritance /
We discovered to our dismay that corrupt Bank officials have
unnecessarily delayed your payment in an attempt to defraud your fund,
resulting in so many losses on your part and unnecessary delays in
receiving your payment. The United Nations and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) have chosen to pay all compensation funds to 150
Beneficiaries in North America, South America, the United States of
America, Europe and Asia and throughout the world through the card.
Visa ATM, as it is a global payments technology that allows consumers,
businesses, financial institutions and governments to use digital
currency instead of cash and checks.
We have agreed that your payment will be paid to you via a Visa ATM
card and it will be issued in your name and shipped directly to your
address via DHL or any courier service available in your country. Upon
contacting us, the sum of US $ 1,500,000.00 will be credited to the
Visa ATM card and this will allow you to withdraw your funds at any
ATM in your country with a minimum withdrawal of US $ 10,000 per day.
Your limit can be increased to US $ 20,000.00 per day upon request. In
this regard, you must communicate and provide the requested
information to the Directorate of International Payments and Transfers
with the following;
1. Your full name (first and last name)
2. Your full residential address and your country
4. Date of birth / sex
6. Telephone / fax number
7. Your business email address / personal email address.
Use this code (Ref: CLIENTE-966/16) as the subject of your email for
identification, and try to provide the above information to the
officials below for the issuance and delivery of your Visa ATM Card;
We have advised the banking agent to open a private email address with
a new number to allow us to control this payment and transfer
communications to avoid further delays or diversions of your fund.
Contact your UnitedBank for Africa agent now with the following
Contact: MR. KENNEDY UZOKA
Compensation Funds Transfer Department (United Bank for Africa)
Contact email: (email@example.com)
We require your urgent response to this email as indicated to avoid