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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "transferred into your bank account" (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: MR DAVID MORRIS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2023 21:50:01 -0800
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary
International Monetary Fund
( I.M.F ) Head Office
Senior Resident Representative
#1900 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20431 USA.
Attention: Fund Beneficiary,
This is the second time we are notifying you about these said Funds.
After due vetting and evaluation of your file that was sent to us by
the U.N Organization in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance we
International Monetary Fund (IMF)has an instruction to see to the
immediate release of the sum of (US$2.5Million) of your long over due
payment that has been holding since is transferred into your Bank
Account from their Domiciliary Account.
I hope this is clear. Any action and further communication with any
correspondence contrary to this instruction is at your own risk, get
back to us with immediate effect and we shall give you further details
on how your Fund will be released to you.
Mr. David Morris (I.M.F)
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.