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:
- 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:
- "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)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- +447031916115 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (Outblaze.com, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: ">" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2022 01:38:05 +0100
Subject: RE: GOOD NEWS REPLY URGENTLY.
OFFICE OF THE IMF & UNITED NATIONS FOREIGN REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT EUROPE, AS=
IA AND AMERICAN DISTRICT TEL: +447031916115 E-MAIL: unn.imf1973@consultant.=
com E-MAIL: IMF.firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Beneficiary, This is to inform=
you that the united state government authority (USA) in collaboration with=
the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been alleged to monitor all tran=
sactions. I hereby advise you to stop whatever transactions you are Having =
in regards of your fund. This information is reaching you because from our =
intelligent unit we discovered that you have been involved in a transaction=
with Internet Fraudster. Based on a closed door-meeting held by all stakeh=
olders regarding your bad experience with the Internet Fraudster. However, =
a sum of (US$1,200,000.00) has been approved to compensate all Scam Victims=
Across the world by the above mentioned Organizations? We unanimously agre=
ed to pay you Via ATM MASTER CARD / BANK DRAFT for the safety of the said a=
mount as compensation for Scam Victims across the world. You are advised to=
provide this office with your full details such as Your Name, Cell Phone N=
umber, Occupation and your Current Home Address where your ATM MASTER CARD =
/ BANK DRAFT will be delivered to you for security reasons, get back to us =
for easy communication through our office email: ( IMF.1932_usa@consultant.=
com) as We have been given 14 working days to get your ATM MASTER CARD / BA=
NK DRAFT delivered to you by all the Stakeholders. Yours in Service, Antoni=
o Guterres Head Of Operation=