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:
- "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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Paul Orji <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2022 08:25:39 -0800
International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, N.W,
Washington, D.C. 20431 (see map)
Headquarters 1 (HQ1):NW, Washington,
Attention Honorable Beneficiary
My Name is Mr Paul Orji and I work for the Department of International
Monetary Fund (IMF), World Fund Discovery Management. I found that You
have an unclaimed sum of money that was suppose to be remitted to you
has just showed up at my office, maybe due to some unforeseen
circumstance that allow you to finish your transactions home or
abroad, so I took it upon myself to get in touch with you, before it
will be forfeited as you still have the chance to claim yours.
Currently, states, federal agencies and other organizations
collectively hold more than $58 billion in unclaimed cash and
benefits, which come from a variety of sources, including abandoned
bank accounts and stock holdings, unclaimed life insurance payouts and
forgotten pension benefits seizures of third party benefit, legal
financial transactions, like lotto winnings, Inheritance claims that
was abandon by individuals over skepticism etc. It was however
ascertain that you were supposed to receive a sum of $6.5 million
dollars beneficiary, kindly email this office for claims.
Mr. Ramos Kingsley
E-mail (email@example.com )
And get back to me for more information on how to claim your funds
before its marked unclaimed.
You are advised to urgently reconfirm your information to this office
as requested below so that we will be able to process the final
release of your fund and to avoid false claim.
1) Your Full Names:
2) Your Home Address, and Nationality
3) Your Home Telephone:
4) Your Mobile Phone:
5) Your Age and Sex:
6) Your Occupation:
7) Your Alternative E-mail Address:
We look forward to your urgent confirmation.
Mr Paul Orji Executive Director-International Monetary Fund (IMF).