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:
- "your payment is being processed" (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)
- "to your nominated 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Steven Strickland" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2023 18:51:22 -0700
Subject: VERIFICATION AND APPROVAL OF YOUR PAYMENT FILE
INTERNATIONAL FUNDS TRANSFER / AUDIT
UNIT UNITED NATION(WORLD BANK ASSISTED PROGRAMME)
DIRECTORATE OF INTERNATIONAL PAYMENT
AND TRANSFERS.Ref: WB/NF/UN/XX027
DEBT SETTLEMENT PANEL
ATTN: BENEFICIARY: ,
RE: VERIFICATION AND APPROVAL OF YOUR PAYMENT FILE.
FROM THE RECORDS OF OUTSTANDING FUNDS DUE FOR IMMEDIATE PAYMENT, YOUR
NAME/PARTICULARS WAS DISCOVERED AS NEXT ON THE APPROVED LIST.
I WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR PAYMENT IS BEING PROCESSED AND FROM THE
RECORD IN MY FILE, THE TOTAL SUM OF US $15 MILLION USD HAVE BEEN APPROVED ON
YOUR BEHALF FOR THE HALF QUARTER OF THE FISCAL YEAR 2022.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION, WE HAVE ASSIGNED THE US-BANK,TO HANDLE ALL
RELATED TRANSACTIONS TO AVOID FURTHER COMPLAIN FROM BENEFICIARIES
ABOUT INCESSANT TAXES, FEES AND LEVIES.
KINDLY RE-CONFIRM THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IMMEDIATELY TO FACILITATE
THE ISSUANCE OF AN INTERNATIONAL PAYMENT JUSTIFICATION ORDER DOCUMENT
ON YOUR BEHALF WHICH WILL BE SUBMITTED TO THE US-BANK FOR THE
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUNDS.
1) YOUR FULL NAME:
2) CONTACT ADDRESS:
5) PHONE, FAX AND MOBILE:
AS SOON AS THIS INFORMATION IS RECEIVED, YOUR PAYMENT WILL BE MADE TO
YOUR NOMINATED BANK ACCOUNT DIRECTLY FROM THE US-BANK.
YOUR PAYMENT APPROVAL IS MADE UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE WORLD BANK AND
WE INTEND TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE YOUR FUNDS TRANSFER. YOU ARE
THEREFORE STRONGLY ADVISE TO STOP FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER
BANK OR INSTITUTION REGARDING THIS MATTER, FOR THE OVERALL SAFETY OF
YOU AND YOUR FUND.
DR. STEVEN STRICKLAND
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE,
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.