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:
- "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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2021 01:27:03 +0000
Subject: From: International Monetary Fund
From: International Monetary Fund
Headquarters: WASHINGTON DC, United State of America
Formation: 27 December 1945
Hours: Open Today From 8:30am 5:30pm
Good day to you dear and how are you doing today? Iâm Mrs. Kristalina
Georgieva the new Managing Director of International Monetary Fund
(IMF) United State of America, Iâm contacting you regarding your funds
documentary from Washington DC which has been in our office for a
complete whole year worth the total sum of nine million one hundred
thousand united states dollar ($9,100,000.00usd) the reason why you're
receiving this funds is because the United State government embark on
worldwide promotion for the Disable , Unemployed ,Retired workers
,Scam Victims ETC. We are doing this to build career for people that
are in need and also to promote our company and this can never affect
any money you get from work or money you receive from your government.
and I personally decided to contact you in respect of your funds with
my personal email address to avoid fraudulent issues on this
transaction and also to know if you're still alive since we haven't
heard from you making any plans toward claiming your funds for a whole
year, get back to me for more information regarding your funds and
you're to reconfirm me your full name to be very sure am dealing with
the rightful beneficiary of the Funds.
Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva
Managing Director IMF.