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)
- "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: Thu, 22 Dec 2022 05:36:02 -0800
Subject: Contact the Dhl office today and email back to us.
* International Monetary Fund
(IMF) Resident representative
office in Nigeria No 10 Hon.
Justice Mohammed Bello Street.
Asokoro Abuja, NIGERIA.
Dear Beneficiary.Good day and compliments
of the season.I wish to inform you that your duly approved and overdue
compensation fund payment valued at Usd$1.5million (One million five
hundred thousand dollars 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 of your choice 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 wrapped package to be delivered to you as the beneficiary and not to a
proxy or an acquaintance. 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 fee you are going to pay is the courier
shipment cost of your package which is Usd65 (Sixty five dollars only) and
it is payable to DHL COURIER in line with their standard practice. Once you
contact them, you will be detailed by the manager Mr. Vincent Eze himself
on how you will pay them the fee. *
*The IMF which I represent here in Nigeria is not obligated to pay the
courier shipment fee on your behalf as it is your prerogative as the
beneficiary to pay the fee and this is in line with our well tailored
operational guidelines which does not mandate us to pay such fees and this
official position should be respected. 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 which qualified you as a scam victim and
listed beneficiary of this token, so your losses can be assuaged.Please
note also that you are at liberty to reject the offer if it is not in
tandem with your conscience or if you think you do not need the
compensation fund and we shall expect you to do so in writing, so your
decision can be forwarded to the board of IMF under the able leadership of
Mrs. Kristalina GeorgievaIMF Managing Director and Chief executive officer.
Below are the contact details of the DHL Manager.Manager Name: Mr Vincent
EzeE-mail: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>Phone/Fax: (+234)
7032 687 467Contact the Dhl office today and email back to us.ThanksMr. Ari
AisenResident Representative (IMF) NigeriaFor: Mrs. Kristalina GeorgievaIMF
Managing Director and Chief executive officer.*