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 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)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Kristalina Georgieva" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2022 10:32:31 -0300
Subject: Attention: Sir/Madam/Mr./Mrs.
( I.M.F ) Head Office
#1900 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20431
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.
INSTRUCTION TO CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT WITH USD$4.8 Million.
Dear Fund Beneficiary
I am Dr Kristalina Georgieva the Managing Director International
Monetary Fund, and the Chairman, Unclaimed Fund Release committee set up
to disburse/release all the unclaimed fund to the supposed
beneficiaries. We were informed that you have not received your long
overdue fund payment for years because of some corrupt government
officials who have tried to divert your funds to their own personal
aggrandizement.Be inform that after due consultation on your behalf
regarding the immediate release of your Approved Unclaimed Funds of 4.8
Million United States Dollars
All Governmental and Non-Governmental prostates, NGOs, Finance
Companies, Banks, Security Companies, and Courier companies that 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 International Monetary Fund (IMF) is now directly in
charge of your payment. Your name appeared in our payment schedule list
of beneficiaries that will receive their funds in this first quarter
payment of the year because we only transfer funds twice a year
according to our banking regulation. We apologize for the delay in your
payment please stop communicating with any office now and attention to
our office payment accordingly.
this notification for further advise:
Your Full Name....................
Current Residential Address.......
Direct Phone Number...............
Age / Sex / Occupation............
Scan Copy of Your ID..............
I shall wait to hear from you with the above
reply to my private email; (email@example.com)
Managing Director International Monetary Fund