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"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:

Fraud email example:

From: "Hon. Tom Woods" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 09:38:12 -0500
Subject: HELLO

Attn: Sir/ Madam,
The IMF Global Debt Committee in conjunction with World Bank has received your pending payment, with international payment voucher number (WB-11014-15) amounting to (US$5.2M) Your name was shortlisted among others whose international payment has long been overdue for payment.
With reference number UN/IMF/WBF 05014/16, this amount has been scheduled for immediate release via our committees authorized corresponding bank overseas. The IMF was alarmed on its recent findings on global banking inside practices, perpetuated and instigated by unauthorized banking officials. This unprofessional activity in some banks has resulted in international wire delays, permanent frozen of funds and seizures. In other to resolve this crises, the IMF in conjunction with various foreign Governments and financial agencies has audited and authorized release and payment of 291 frozen assets and funds to victims.
Due to the corrupt and inefficient Banking Systems in some countries involved, the Payments are to be supervised by our Monitoring Officials through our corresponding Banks. According to the number of applicants at hand, half of the victims are from the United States. You are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this message to any ongoing communication between you and any individual or bank in connection with your lost for any reason whatsoever, this is to avoid conflict with ongoing criminal investigations.
You are advised to reconfirm to this committee the following details, to enable us issue irrevocable payment order to our authorized paying bank.
Your Full Name:.........................
Your Full Address:............
Your Mobile Telephone #:......
Your Age/Sex/Occupation:........................
Yours Faithfully
Hon. Tom Woods
(Chairman) IMF Global Debt Committee
Jakarta Indonesia

Esta mensagem pode conter informação confidencial e/ou classificada como secreta ou reservada. Se você não for o destinatário ou a pessoa autorizada a receber esta mensagem, não pode usar, copiar ou divulgar as informações nela contidas ou tomar qualquer ação baseada nessas informações. Se você recebeu esta mensagem por engano, por favor avise imediatamente o remetente, respondendo o e-mail e em seguida apague-o.

This message may contain confidential and / or privileged information. If you're not the recipient or the person authorized to receive this message, you can not use, copy or disclose the information contained therein or take any action based on this information. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail and then delete it.

Anti-fraud resources: