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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "western union" (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. )
- "money gram" (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. )
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: internationa policeunited <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 03:06:48 -0700
Subject: Attn Dear Beneficiary:
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND FOREIGN REMITTANCE UNIT.
Senior Resident Representative Payment
9 Hon. Justice Balalaika Avenue. Benin Republic.
Officer In charge Of Foreign Inheritance Payment
Mr. James Amsterdam (SAN).
A power of attorney was forwarded to our office this morning by two
gentle men, one he is an American national and His Name is
Mr.Gerald N. Samaroo, This man claimed to be your representative and
this power of attorney stated that you are dead, he brought an account
to replace your information in other to claim your fund of ($1.5
Million) one Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars which
is now lying in a dormant account UNCLAIMED, below is the Address he
FULL NAME: Gerald N. Samaroo
FULL ADDRESS:: 7111-142 Ave N, # 107, Largo, Florida 33771, U.S.A.
MOBILE PHONE NUMBER: 727-421-49921
OCCUPATION:TRANSPORTS: Retired Accountant
MARITAL STATUS AND AGE:: Married, 72 Years
Bank Account.city bank
Account# / 6503809428.
Address 1076 peter Johnson Road, largo Florida.
Be further informed that this power of attorney also stated that you
suffered and died of a throat cancer. You are therefore given 24 hours
to confirm the truth in this information, If you are still alive, You
are to contact us back immediately, Because we work 24 hrs just to
ensure that we monitor all the activities going on in regards to the
transfer of beneficiaries inheritance and contract payment.
You are to call this office immediately for clarifications on this
matter as we shall be available 24 hrs to speak with you and give you
the necessary guidelines on how to ensure that your payment is wired
to you immediately and also be informed that any further delay from
your side could be dangerous, as we will not be held responsible for
any wrong payment.
So kindly contact us urgently if you are Alive as we have his
identification and residence he provided for this payment to be wired
to they account. N/B Note that you will required to pay the IMF
payment Release Bound administrative charge for file endorsement
Here is the information you are required to send via email for us to
check up with the data's we have in our central computer.
(1) Full Name.............
(2) Country/State/ City Name.............
(3) Delivery Address.........
(7) Telephone Number...........
(8) A Cope of Your Passport/ Drivers Licenses...................... ..
Mr. James Amsterdam (SAN).
Email Address:( email@example.com )
As soon as you provide the information above, we will direct you on
how to send the file endorsement processing charge via western union
or money gram.
Mr. James Amsterdam (SAN).
Chief IMF payment Audit
International Monetary Funds