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 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "I.M.F" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2022 11:43:25 +0100
Subject: GOOD NEWS
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
Head office Add: 9 Hon. Justice Mohammed Bello St,
Asokoro Abuja Nigeria.
Dear Email Owner/Fund Beneficiary
INSTRUCTION TO RELEASE YOUR INHERITANCE FUND
This is to draw your attention to a very important piece of
information which will be of great help to you from all the
difficulties redeem that you had experience in receiving your long
overdue inheritance/compensation payment due to an excessive monetary
claim from you by both corrupt banking officials and courier
companies, after which your fund remains unpaid to you.
I am Mr. Ari Aisen, a senior officer of the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) Nigeria based representative. It might be interesting to
know that so many reports have reached our office Correspondence about
the troubled way people like you are being treated by Various banks
and courier companies/diplomats across Europe to Africa and
Asia/London UK. We have decided to put an end to this and the IMF
representative here in Nigeria has been appointed by the agency to
handle all inheritance/compensation payments to foreign beneficiaries.
Note: All Governmental and Non-Governmental prostates, NGOs, Finance
Companies, Banks, Security Companies and Courier companies which have
been in contact with you of late for your Inheritance/Compensation
fund have been instructed to back off from your transaction and you
have been advised NOT to respond to them anymore since the IMF is now
directly in Charge of your payments.
By the strength of this development, the sum of Twenty Five Million
United States Dollars (USD$25,000,000.00) has been SIGNED to each
beneficiaries to be paid. This Memorandum is to notify you that you
will be settled with the sum of Twenty Five Million United States
Dollars (USD$25,000,000.00) for your Inheritance/contract payment.
Kindly send the below information:
Mobile and fax number (for regular official contact).
Passport/Drivers License for Identification
The above informations officially will enable us to carry out our
verification processes and afterwards your remuneration
sum/inheritance fund will be released to you without further delay. It
is therefore recommended that you do not remit any further payments to
any other institution in relation to your transaction as your fund
(USD 25,000,000.00) will be released to you directly from our source.
Hope this is clear to any action contrary to this statement is your
Reply to this email on (firstname.lastname@example.org) with
immediate effect and we will provide you with further details on the
release of your fund.
Mr. Ari Aisen
IMF Representative in Nigeria