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:
- 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:
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Elliott Harris" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:37:42 -0800
This is to inform you that the governing board of the I n t e r n a t i o n a l Monetary f u n d(IMF) has given a credit instruction to the b a n k of A m e r i c a New York to t r a n s f e r the sum of US$12.5M into your account and all charges will be DEDUCTED from the SUM before t r a n s f e rring to your customer b a n k.
You are to reconfirm the information as below,
(1) FULL NAME:
(2) CONTACT ADDRESS:
(3) CELL NUMBER:
As soon as you send us your consent of approval for deduction ,We will proceed to the Court for a sworn affidavit and subsequent deductions of charges from the U S $12.5M and further credit into your account.
You are advised not to compromise to anybody in respect of this request to have your f u n d paid because most of you has spent huge sums of money to scammers.
Thanks for your co-operation
Mr. Elliott Harris
(Special Representative IMF to the U n i t e d N a t i o n s)