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:
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "charles soludo" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: International Monetary Fund <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2019 09:28:32 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: INSTRUCTION TO RELEASE YOUR INHERITANCE FUND
YOUR PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
HEAD OFFICE NO: 23 AVELELON RAOD,
This is to intimate you of a very important information which will be
of a great help to redeem you from all the difficulties you have been
experiencing in getting your long overdue payment due to excessive
demand for money from you by both corrupt Bank officials and Courier
Companies after which your fund remain unpaid to you.
I am Mr John Lee a highly placed official of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). It may interest you to know that reports have
reached our office by so many correspondences on the uneasy way which
people like you are treated by Various Banks and Courier Companies/
Diplomat across Europe to Africa and Asia /London Uk and we have
decided to put a stop to that and that is why I was appointed to
handle your transaction here in Nigeria.
All Governmental and Non-Governmental prostates, NGOs, Finance
Companies, Banks, Security Companies and Courier companies which have
been in contact with you of late have been instructed to back up from
your transaction and you have been advised NOT to respond to them
anymore since the IMF is now directly in charge of your payment.
The most annoying thing is that the bad officials won't tell you the
truth that on no account will they ever release the fund to you
instead they allow you spend money unnecessarily, I do not intend to
work here all the days of my life, I can release this fund to you if
you can certify me of my security.
I needed to help you release the fund because you need to know the
statues of your funds and cause for the delay, Please this is like a
Mafia setting in Nigeria, you may not understand it because you are
not a Nigerian.
Listed below are the mafia's and banks behind the non-release of your
funds that I managed to sneak out for your kind perusal.
PLEASE CHECK AMONG THESE NAMES IF THERE IS ANY ONE AMONG THEM WHO
HAVE SCAMMED YOU, IF YES GET BACK TO ME FOR LEGAL ACTION TO BE TAKEN.
1) Prof. Charles Soludo(CBN)
2) Senator David Mark
3) Chief Lamido Sanusi(CBN)
4) John Rob(Barclays bank plc)
5) Mrs Stella Brown(Barclays bank plc)
6) Ronald Franklin
7) Barrister Ucheuzo Williams
8) Mr. Ernest Chukwudi Obi
9) Mr. Mike Jombo
Deputy Governor - Policy / Board Member
10) Mr. Tunde Lemo
Deputy Governor - Financial Sector Surveillance / Board Member
11) Mrs. W. D. A. Mshelia Deputy Governor - Corporate Services / Board Members
12) Mrs. Okonjo Iweala
13) Mrs. Rita Ekwesili
14) Diplomatic courier
You are hereby advised NOT to remit further payment to any
institutions with respect to your transaction as your fund will be
transferred to you directly from our source.
I hope this is clear. Any action contrary to this instruction is at
your own risk. Respond to this e-mail on
(email@example.com ) with immediate effect and we
shall give you further details on how your fund will be released.
Reconfirm the information bellow
1. Full Name:
4. Age: Date of Birth:
6. Phone: Mobile/Cellular.....................Fax:..
7. State of Origin:
8. Copy of your identity Card
Also Call me as soon as you receive the letter so that you will be
given an immediate response: Direct Hotline:+234-8063515578
MR JOHN LEE