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.
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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:
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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 <carl@GMASIA.local>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2012 06:47:39 +1000
Subject: YOUR OVER DUE INHERITANCE FUND!
( I.M.F ) Head Office
P.O. Box 3031.
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.
Dear Fund Beneficiary,
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 over due 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/Barristers across Europe to Africa and Asia /London UK.
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 ! off from your transaction and Your name appeared in our payment schedule list of beneficiaries that will receive their funds in this First quarter payment of the year because we only transfer fund twice in a year according to our banking regulation. We apologize for the delay of your payment and please stop communicating with any office now and attention to our office payment accordingly. Now your new Payment, United nation Approval No; UN5685P, White House Approved No: WH44CV, Reference No.-35460021, Allocation No: 674632 Password No: 339331, Pin Code No: 55674 and your Certificate of Merit Payment No: 103, Released Code No: 0763; Immediate (IMF) Telex confirmation No: -1114433; Secret Cod
We hereby assure you that the favours of God have located your Payment Approved File and you shall NO MORE fall into the evil net of fraudulent people. If you are Christian, I want you to read this portion from the Holy Bible (Isaiah chapter 44 verse 25 and Book of Job chapter 5 verse 12).I tell you emphatically that this is the END of those evil doers, we must Apprehend and prosecute them accordingly. According to the word from our new President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who is a very sincere and God fearing man, "God will surely disappoint their evil desires because we have come to deliver you from their devilish hands". And, this (IMF) Funds Clearance Authority must also ensure that your Approved fund shall reach your Bank Account. Your constant communication is Important. We assure you that your payment will get to you as long as you follow my directives and instructions. We have decided to give you a CODE, THE CODE IS: 601. Please, any time ! you receive a mail
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 ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) with immediate effect and we shall give you further details on how your fund will be released. Also call me as soon as you send the e-mail so that you will be given an immediate response: Direct Hot-line: Call: +234-709-254-4371
Mr. John Lee (I.M.F)