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:
- "activation fee" (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. )
- ",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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "International Monetary Funds." <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2021 20:22:13 +0100
Subject: IMMEDIATE CONFIRMATION & COOPERATION IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!
International Monetary Fund
700 19th St NW, Washington,
DC 20431, United States.
This E-mail is to inform you that a power of attorney was forwarded to
our office by a lady and she is a citizen of United States of America
by the name Mrs. Angela Smith Ashford. The woman claimed to be your
representative and this power of attorney stated that you are dead
after brief illness and she brought account to replace your
information in other to claim your fund of $2,500,000 dollars which is
now lying dormant and unclaimed, below is the new account she
Bank: Citi Bank
Her Address: 4869 longmeagow Drive Birmingham ,Alabama, 35022.
Be further informed that this power of attorney also stated that you
suffered and died of a throat cancer. Although we believe this to be
FICTITIOUS but You are therefore given 24HRS to confirm the truth in
this information, if you are still alive, you are to contact us
immediately, because we work 24HRS just to ensure that we monitor all
the activities going on in regards to the transfer of beneficiaryâs
inheritance and contract payment.
E-mail us directly on (firstname.lastname@example.org ) for clarifications on this
matter as we shall be available 24HRS to speak with you and give you
the necessary guidelines on how to ensure that your payment gets to
you immediately and also be inform that any further delay from your
side could be dangerous, as we would not be held responsible for any
Here is the means for you to receive your pending fund and you are to
make a choice.
1. ATM Card
2. Postal Order
3. Bank Transfer
4. Online Banking
Meanwhile; you are required to re-confirm your personal information
below with the fee of $25.00 dollars to update your file and also
$75.00 for affidavit and then we will make proper arrangements to
ensure that you receive your fund without no problem and it's 100%
assured that you will not have to pay a hidden fees to receive your
fund worth $2,500,000.00 but only $100 to receive it.
(1) Full Name:
(3) Delivery Address:
(4) Telephone Number:
The required protocol for you to send the Affidavit and activation fee
is to buy an AMERICA EXPRESS GIFT CARD of $100 or you can buy any gift
card of your choice okay. Once the American Express gift card is been
purchased, please try and attach a clear picture of the front & back
of the card and the cash receipts to enable us to forward the
information's to the paying bank.
International Monetary Funds.