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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "transfer of your funds" (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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Financier; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Christine Lagarde <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:01:34 -0500
Subject: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
We the International Monetary Fund IMF, Investigation Bureau
Department in conjunction with other relevant Investigation agencies,
we hereby to inform you that we recently received several reports
through our Global intelligence monitoring networks that you have a
transaction in UK,Europe,Asia which wasn't accomplished after series
of process and requires further procedures. Consequently we finally
traced the location of the funds and ordered the dispatch or
transmitting of the funds to a safe custody. Ora-bank Benin Republic,
hence the mentioned Bank institute will be facilitating the
transferring of the funds to your account in your country anywhere in
the world as soon as possible, this decision was made due to the rate
of corruption and scam reports perpetrated by Individuals and
Government offices/companies in UK,Europe,Asia,Africa therefore your
funds was ordered to be moved or transferred to safe Bank immediately
The transmission of the funds to Ora-bank Benin Republic was
successfully executed today and we just received a confirmation from
the Ora-bank Benin Republic that the funds valued the sum of
$3.5Million Three Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars
was received by the Bank management, therefore we are officially
contacting you in this regard by letting you know that your funds are
presently at Ora-bank Benin Republic.
Therefore you are advised to contact them immediately with the
information outlined below:
Ora-bank Benin Republic
Contact Person: Mr. David Richard
Customer Serive: email@example.com
Contact them with the below information for the transfer of your Funds:
Your personal profile (Profession, names, age, Home address, phone
number# Your MOBILE and LANDLINE required)
The Name of the Bank
The account details will comprise the full address of the bank.
The Routing number
Account name and Account number.
Furthermore you are expecting to Identify yourself with the following
code of conduct: EGZOXHXTFRD/WBG, this code was given by the Chairman
of the Ora-bank Benin today for verification or easy identification so
you must endeavor to include or indicating this code in your email.
Finally you are advised to completely terminate all your conversation
or correspondent with any other individual, authority or office in
UK,Europe,Asia, who claims to be in the custody of your funds because
your funds was officially directed to ORA-BANK today under our
instructions therefore you should completely quit all conversations
with any other individual or group except the Ora-bank Benin Republic.
Comply with all their instruction and directives accordingly and they
will transfer your funds without any delay.
Managing Director (IMF).
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.