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:
- "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)
- "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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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 next of kin scam.
- 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: "Ms.Kristalina Georgieva" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2021 13:01:12 -0800
Subject: Dear Beneficiary:
( I.M.F ) Head Office
Senior Resident Representative
#1900 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20431 USA.
Attention; Fund Beneficiary,
Did You Instruct One Ms. Donna K. Heberling, To Claim Your
US$10,700.000.00. The above-mentioned person visited this Office 10:45
am yesterday, with a power of attorney given in her favor by your good
self, granting her the benefit to process and claim your pending fund
valued US$10,700,000.00 (Ten Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United
States Dollars) for personal reasons. She further stated that you are
one of the Coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) victims as you did not
survive but you grant her a power of attorney to claim your pending
fund before you pass away. Please answer this very important question,
are you (Dead OR Alive). Our office has asked Ms. Donna K. Heberling,
to return back to this office within (48) working hours to enable us
to have a personal confirmation from you being hitherto the
(1.) Did you instruct one Ms. Donna K. Heberling, of 1200 Fitch
Way,Sacramento, Ca 95864, to claim and receive the payment on your
behalf because you are dead? (2.) Did you sign any 'Deed of
Assignment' in her favor thereby making her the current
beneficiary/Next of Kin to receive your pending fund?
Your payment inheritance fund is USD$10.7Million. Having received
these vital payment numbers, therefore you are qualified now to
receive and confirm your payment with the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) immediately. We assure you that your payment will get to you as
long as you follow my directives and instructions. We have decided to
give you a CODE, THE CODE IS: (501). Please, any time you receive a
mail with the name Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, check if there is CODE
(501) if the code is not written, please delete the message from your
box! We have decided to contact you for re-verification because we
suspected that Mr. Donna K. Heberling is trying to divert your money
through the sworn affidavit into a new different bank account. You are
advised to get ba You can also reply to me in this
email.(firstname.lastname@example.org)kinding get back to this
office within 7 days from today,
Ms. Kristalina Georgieva
Managing Director of the International
Monetary Fund. (I.M.F)(501).