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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 FUND(IMF)" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2022 10:42:59 +0100
Subject: IMF OUTSTANDING PAYMENT SUM $15.5 MILLION USD .
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (I.M.F)
FROM THE DESK OF MR. PETERSON WILLIAMS.
IMF EXTERNAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
9 HON. JUSTICE MOHAMMED BELLO STR.
DIRECT LINE +234-908 359 9888
RE-OUTSTANDING PAYMENT OF $15.5 MILLION USD.
Attention: Fund Beneficiary ,
Compliments of the season,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 of money from you by both corrupt Bank
officials and Courier Companies after which your fund remain unpaid to
I am Mr. Peterson E. Williams, a highly placed official 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 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.
All Governmental and Non-Governmental prostates, NGOs, Finance
Companies,Banks, Security Companies and Courier companies which have
been in contact with you of late, have been instructed to back up from
your transaction and you have been advised NOT to respond to them
anymore since the IMF is now directly in charge of your payment.
Reconfirm the below information properly,send your reply to this
e-mail id, which is ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
1. Full Names:
2. Residential Address:
4. Date of Birth/ Age:
6. Phone: Mobile/Cellular/Fax:
7. Copy of your identity Card:
I will give you further details on how your fund of $15.5 Million USD
will be released to you, also call me as soon as you send email so
that you will be given an immediate response: Direct line: CALL:
+234-908 359 9888
Wait to hear from you, and thanks for your cooperation.
Mr. Peterson E. Williams