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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Christine Lagarde"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 07 Dec 2018 06:36:59 -0800
Subject: OFFICIAL NOTICE.
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.
IMF Headquarters: 7001 19th Street, 20219-001
N.W., Washington D. C. 20413,
United States of America.
Our Ref: IMF/FGN/RMB/088/2018
Internal Memo Urgent!
SUB-FUND TRANSFER NOTIFICATION: INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
DEBT SERVICING EXERCISE
EFT APPROVAL VERIFY DEAL IMF/ RMB CODE: BBYUK/REG1958755
ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER: 4083 0521 0038 4356 OPERATOR N0: =
DEAL RECEIPT =2013 FOREIGN CURRENCY TRF BROUGHT - CALL EFT ACCOUNT
TRO5244075994Q09 Total Amount for Transfer : =
Sequel to the meeting we had with the African and European country leaders =
in regards to the payments been owed by the Africa and Europe continents, =
the Chairman of African Union (AU) and that of the European Union (EU) have=
made it known to all the beneficiaries been owed via Contracts, Inheritan=
ce, Lottery, During their recent interview with United Nation overdue contr=
act payment commission that all the debts =
been owed by the Africans and Europeans should be paid to them via AU and E=
U accounts with the supervision of the bank of International settlement (BI=
S) here in the United States which you happened to be one of the beneficiar=
y confirmed for this payment settlement.
Also In accordance with the payment verification and auditing exercise carr=
ied out by the UK Debt Servicing Unit of the World Bank, (W.B) and the Inte=
rnational Monetary Fund (IMF) in conjunction with the European Union (EU), =
it has been brought to the knowledge of the Comptroller General, Internatio=
nal Monetary Fund that your outstanding valid US$15,500.000.00 (Fifteen Mil=
lion Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) only has been deposited f=
or immediate transfer with the SOUTH =
AFRICAN RESERVE BANK and has been approved for urgent payment to your =
receiving bank account through their International remittance unit.
We issue this last notification to you on this development since we were un=
able to reach you with the payment Details, as you are advised to contact t=
he SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE BANK, International Remittance Unit. Attn: Mr. Leo=
Vuyo on Direct Tel: +27 784 923 587: email@example.com with th=
is payment Ref N0: BBYUK/REG1958755 for the transfer conclusion.
This avenue has been created by the United Nations (EU) & (AU) on Foreign d=
ebt Reconciliation Commission to offset all the outstanding foreign payment=
s on-hold in order to rehabilitate the lost dignity of the EU & AU African=
The international Monetary Fund (IMF) remains communicated to our financial=
principles through the above contact details. We hope you will benefit fr=
om our team of experts. We assure you the best of our services at all time=
s assuring you of this payment transfer legitimacy.
Ms. Christine Lagarde
Managing Director (IMF)