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:
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Dr Kristalina Georgieva <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2021 16:14:42 +0100
Subject: GOOD NEWS
Attention: Sir/Madam/Mr./Mrs. I am Dr Kristalina Georgieva the
Managing Director International Monetary Fund, and the Chairman,
Unclaimed Fund Release committee set up to disburse/release all the
unclaimed fund to the supposed beneficiaries. We were informed that
you have not received your long overdue fund payment for years because
of some corrupt government officials who have tried to divert your
funds to their own personal aggrandizement. Be inform that after due
consultation on your behalf regarding the immediate release of your
Approved Unclaimed Funds of Five Million Six Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars($5.6M). We have successfully secured your Approved
Unclaimed Funds to your favor and it has been arranged for immediate
release to you after careful verification on your payment file.You are
hereby advice to reconfirm the information stated below in this
notification for further advise: Your Full Name....................
Current Residential Address....... Direct Phone Number...............
Age / Sex / Occupation............ Scan Copy of Your ID..............
I shall wait to hear from you with the above mentioned information to
enable us expedite action and have your approved unclaimed fund
released to you within official 7 working days.Respond to this e-mail
on: firstname.lastname@example.org I await your urgent response. Thanks.
Yours Sincerely, Dr Kristalina Georgieva Managing Director
International Monetary Fund (IMF)