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 pounds" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: IMF OFFICE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2017 19:18:38 +0100
Subject: Attention Please
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Investigation Department
Washington DC is here by to inform you that we recently received
several reports through our Global surveillance network that your
transaction has failed to be successful after diverse efforts because
the offices and individuals involved has made it a swindle opportunity
hence they continue to demand for money without substantial reasons.
Consequently this esteemed office has today recuperated your funds
valued the sum of Â£5,000.000.00 (Five million pounds) from the erratic
custody, meanwhile if you noticed any change of amount or value itâs
rather as a result of the false information you have been fed or
imparted by those hoodlums.
Your fund was securely entrusted to Sainsburys Bank Plc in London, UK
today under a special supervision of Andy Simmonds an experienced
Sainsburys Bank official who is to be conducting your payment
henceforth. Therefore you are advised to contact the Bank representative
with the information outlined below;
Sainsbury's Bank Plc
Contact Person:Mr. Andy Simmonds
Phone: +44 13 1510 3336
Furthermore identification code (SB90991031XY) was issued by Sainsburys
Bank which you are required to indicate by using it as the subject of
your email for verification or easy identification and the following
information are also required; Full name, address and telephone number.
Henceforth you are advised to terminated all conversation or
correspondent with any office, individual in Africa or elsewhere
claiming to be in custody of your fund, you should consider it a hoax
because your fund was official entrusted to Sainsburys Bank by this
Finally you are advice to comply with instruction and directives of
Sainsburys Bank accordingly to enable them facilitate your payment
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Investigation Department Washington DC