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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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)
- "you are advise to" (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: "Mrs. Renee Hill." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2022 09:39:20 -0700
Subject: Dear Fund Beneficiary 170
International Monetary Fund HQ1.
Washington, D.C. 20505 USA.
Dear Fund Beneficiary,
This is to intimate 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 remains unpaid to you. I am Ms. Renee Hill, a highly placed official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We are the fund recovery committee Commissioned by (The White House). Note that our responsibilities are to recover: stolen funds, properties, Compensation payments, lottery winnings, Inheritance Funds, Contract Funds, e.t.c. You are receiving this email because you are listed as a potential beneficiary of funds yet to be paid to you. During our official investigation, we discovered that you are owed the sum of $10M (Ten Million United States Dollars).
It may interest you to know that reports have reached our office by so many correspondences on the uneasy way in which people like you are treated by Various Banks and Courier Companies Diplomat across Europe to Africa and Asia /London. and we have decided to put a stop to that and that is why I was appointed to handle your transaction here in the United States of America. You are advise to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.
All Governmental and Non-Governmental parastatals, 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. 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 these instructions is at your own risk. Respond to this e-mail on (email@example.com) with immediate effect and we shall give you further details on how your fund will be released. Also reply to me as soon as you receive this email so that you will be given an immediate response.
Mrs. Renee Hill.
Office of Public Affairs
International Monetary Fund HQ1.