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:
- 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 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Williams kayla alese <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 11:35:37 -0800
Subject: ATTENTION DEAR BENEFICIARY!!!!!!
Thank You.DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS 19th Floor,
885 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10022 Bentham IMF,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ATTN: FROM INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
MY NAME IS MISS KAYLA WILLIAMS , AM CONTACTING YOU FROM INTERNATIONAL
MONETARY FUND UNIT. I HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO COMPLETE THE TRANSACTION
OF YOUR FUND WORTH $10.5 MILLION DOLLARS BEFORE 1ST WEEK OF NEXT MONTH
BEEN DECEMBER. BUT UNFORTUNATELY , GETTING TO OFFICE, One Mr Andrew
Cox came to office yesterday in respect of $10.5 million dollars
which has been credited with us for the past 6 months now by the
Federal Government to be transferred into your account. So we decided
to write you to make sure that your fund of $10.5 million dollars in
our branch office in WASHINGTON is secured.
We want you to get back to us with the following details:
1. Full name .............
3. Contact Address..........
4. Telephone Number ......
5. Marital Status .........
6. Occupation .............
7. Company ..............
THANKS, WILLIAMS KAYLA
AGENT INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND UNIT(IMF)