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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "clearance permit" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2022 23:56:05 -0800
Subject: I AWAIT YOUR COMPLIANCE.
International Monetary Fund
Resident representative office
No 10 Hon. Justice Mohammed
I wish to inform you that your overdue compensation fund payment valued at
Usd$1.5million (One million five hundred thousand dollars only) only has
been scheduled to be paid through certified and fully loaded ATM Card which
you will be required to proceed to any ATM Cash Point dispensing machine
nearest to you anywhere in the world to withdraw $10,000, 2-times per day
till your fund is completely exhausted in the loaded automated teller
machine with a 3 years life span before expiration. You can also make
online purchases and transfers into your regular bank account and do other
business transactions with your platinum MasterCard powered ATM Card that
is fully automated and ready for dispatch to your destination.
Meanwhile, your valid ATM CARD is registered with our world class partner
courier firm (DHL Courier Company) as a package to be delivered to you. All
you need to do now is to contact them with the attached form clearance
permit through their local contact information as stated below with your
delivery address for the immediate delivery to you as the package recipient
and fund owner without any delays.
This is your last opportunity to claim your overdue compensation fund and I
believe you will take advantage of this opportunity offered through the
timely intervention of Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director and
Chief executive officer towards enhancing the release of the fund from our
custody. This new arrangement does not involve any other organization
because we are dealing directly with you as the fund beneficiary to ensure
transparency and due process and you have to align with this adjustment to
avoid further discrepancies.
The earlier fees you were asked to pay for your fund clearance over time
which prompted delays has also been waived so we can move forward.
We at the IMF executive board are trying to be of help at this time because
of the financial losses you incurred in the hands of scammers, so your
losses can be assuaged.
Manager Name: Mr Vincent Eze
Phone/Fax: (+234) 7032 687 467
Contact the Dhl office today and email back to us.
Mr. Ari Aisen
Resident Representative (IMF) Nigeria
For: Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva
IMF Managing Director and Chief executive officer.