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:
- "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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "email@example.com" (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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Agent Joseph Peterson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2017 10:11:13 -0700
Subject: Desk of Joseph Peterson (IMF)(Read Carefully)...
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) FINANCIAL MONITORY DEPARTMENT / UNIT. HEA=
D OFFICE NO: PO Box 12082; Hatfield 0028; Pretoria, South Africa. Phone/FAX=
: Tel: +27735551262 ATTENTION! The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an =
organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperatio=
n, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high=
employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the =
world. This Email is to enlighten you of a very important information which=
will be of a great help to redeem you from all the difficulties you have b=
een experiencing in getting your long overdue payment due to excessive dema=
nd of money from you by both corrupt Bank officials and Courier Companies, =
Diplomatic agents and fraudulent barristers after which your fund/payment r=
emain unpaid to you. I am Joseph Peterson (PhD) a highly placed official of=
the International Monetary Fund (IMF). I have been assigned to take respon=
sibility of your funds remittance to you without further delay. It may inte=
rest you to know that reports have reached our office by so many correspond=
ences on the uneasy way which people like you are treated by Various Banks =
and Courier Companies across Europe to Africa and Asia and we have decided =
to put a stop to these nightmares, which is the reason I was appointed to h=
andle your transaction. You are among the list of individuals and companies=
whose unpaid funds have been approved for payment under the stipulated gui=
delines of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, International Mo=
netary Fund (IMF) and other member countries of the United Nations, any amo=
unt money that has been found in the international financial database waiti=
ng to be transferred without claims after the submission of every payment r=
eport shall be confiscated and forfeited to the United Nations account. All=
Governmental and Non-Governmental parasites, NGOs, Finance Companies, Bank=
s, Security Companies and Courier companies which have been in contact with=
you of late have been instructed to quit from your transaction and YOU hav=
e been advised NOT to respond to them anymore since the IMF is now directly=
in charge of your payment. You are hereby advised NOT to remit further pay=
ment to any Institutions with respect to your transaction/funds remittance =
as your fund will be transferred to you directly from our source. Do reconf=
irm the below details to enable the processing of your funds remittance. A)=
Full name & Address, B) Direct Telephone number, C) Sex D) Occupation & Ag=
e Respond to this e-mail on (email@example.com) with immediate =
effect and we shall give you further details on how your funds will be rele=
ased to you. Kindly report any suspected scam/fraud email or ongoing transa=
ction to this office for investigation and wait for feedback. I hope this i=
s clear. Any action contrary to this instruction is at your own risk. Thank=
you. Kind Regards, Mr. Joseph Peterson Legislative Affair Officer =A9 2017=
------------------------------- INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) Email Dis=
claimer: The information contained in this e-mail is confidential and may b=
e subject to legal privilege. If you are not the intended recipient, you mu=
st not use, copy, distribute or disclose the e-mail or any part of its cont=
ents or take any action in reliance on it. If you have received this e-mail=
in error, please e-mail the sender by replying to this message. All reason=
able precautions have been taken to ensure no viruses are present in this e=
-mail and the sender cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage arisin=
g from the use of this e-mail or attachments. Beneficiaries are advised to =
adhere strictly to directives. Any fund beneficiary who ignores instruction=
will be doing so at his/her own risk. If this message appears in your spam=
/junk folder, it=92s probably due to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). =
Please bear with us.=20