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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "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)
- ",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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "IMF" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2022 05:02:07 -0000
In review of the alarming rate of Money Laundering and Extortion observed by U.S Treasury Department , a petition to IMF International Regulatory Authority through the U.S Congress and the IMF International Regulatory sworn into action that the governing body of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) facts finding department to investigate the unnecessary delay of accredited payments ,as your email was among the listed beneficiaries submitted for the approved Scheduled Payment.
In the Payment Schedule (IMF Debt Payment Review), you are approved to receive the sum of US$13,000,000.00(Thirteen Million Dollars Only). And following the concluded IMF acquisition process of all pending payments with the U.S Treasury Department, it was resolved and agreed upon that all unclaimed Funds should be released ASAP.
Based on these facts,please note that upon receipt of your response we will process and send your Payment , so if you like to receive your fund, contact the director in charge of the payment disbursement at INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND SETTLEMENT CENTER Mr.Steven Timm on his email address: And also send him the following information;
Cell Phone Number:
If you need an urgent attention send an email to him immediately.
Your immediate compliance to this will expedite actions on your payment because here in this office, we have a lot of listed beneficiaries to be settled.
FOR International Monetary Fund