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:
- "million us 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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: "Foreign Affairs Department IMF" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2011 16:35:45 +0100
Subject: ATTN: BENEFICIARY Ref:-188.8.131.52
MY NAME IS MR. BENSON UDEMEH OF THE IMF WORLD REGULATORY BODY IN WEST AFRICA, I AM WRITING YOU THIS EMAIL TO UPDATE YOU ON THE PRESENT STATUS OF YOUR LONG AWAITED PAYMENTS OF US$2,000,000.00 (TWO MILLION US DOLLARS) DUE TO YOU. DO NOT RESPOND TO ANY EMAIL TELLING YOU THAT YOUR FUNDS IN HERE IN NIGERIA, THEY ARE ALL LIARS BECAUSE YOUR FUNDS IS IN MALAYSIA SO DO NOT RESPOND TO THEM. WE HAVE DISCOVERED THAT NUMEROUS FRAUD ACTIVITIES ARE IN NIGERIA, THAT IS WHY WE HAD TO MOVE YOUR FUNDS TO ASIA SO BE WARNED. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO NOW IS TO RECONFIRM YOUR DETAILS SO I CAN LINK YOUR FILE TO THE PAYMENT OFFICE IN MALAYSIA
RECONFIRM YOUR DETAILS BELOW;
AS SOON AS THE ABOVE DETAILS ARE CONFIRMED, I SHALL GIVE YOU FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE ON THE IMF PAYMENT OFFICE IN MALAYSIA, SO YOU CAN GET YOUR FUNDS WITHOUT DELAYS. NIGERIA IS A COUNTRY FULL OF SCAMS, AND WE ARE FIGHTING TO REDUCE THAT. I WILL BE WAITING FOR YOUR SWIFT RESPONSE, SO WE CAN END THIS TRANSACTION ONCE AND FOR ALL.
MR. BENSON UDEMEH
FOREIGN AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
IMF WORLD REGULATORY BODY