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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: your fund is ready <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2022 16:42:16 +0100
Subject: Dear Sir/Ma, This is to inform you of a very important information
which will be of a great help to redeem you from all the difficulties you
This is to inform you of a very important information which will be
of a great help to redeem you from all the difficulties you have been
experiencing in getting your long overdue payment due to excessive
demand for money from you by both corrupt Bank officials and Courier
Companies after which your fund remain unpaid to you.
I am Mrs.Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director (MD) of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). It may interest you to know that reports have
reached our office by so many correspondences on the uneasy way which
people like you are treated by Various Banks and Courier Companies
Diplomat(s) across Europe to Africa and Asia London UK, and we have
decided to put a stop to that and that is why I was appointed to
handle your transaction here in Washington, DC 20431, USA.
All Governmental and Non-Governmental prostates, NGO's, Finance
Companies, Banks, Security Companies and Diplomat(s) which have been
in contact with you of late have been instructed to back off from your
transaction and you have been advised NOT to respond to them anymore
since the I.M.F Head Office is now directly in charge of your payment
$15,000,000.00 USD (Fifteen Million United State Dollars)
You are hereby advised NOT to remit further payment to any
institutions with respect to your transaction as your fund will be
transferred to you directly from our source. I hope this is clear. Any
action contrary to this instruction is at your own risk.
kindly send the follow details for the release of your fund to you okay
1.YOUR FULL NAMEâ¦
2.YOUR HOME PHONE NUMBERâ¦
3.YOUR OFFICE NUMBERâ¦
4.ADDRESS WERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND YOUR ATM CARDâ¦
5.(P.O BOX NUMBER/ADDRESS)â¦
7.YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATIONâ¦
Managing Director (MD)
I.M.F Head Office