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"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:

Fraud email example:

From: "Robert Whiteman" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 19:35:24 +0100


Dated: 1/11/2017

Dear Sir,


This is with reference to the received directives from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) company as compensation for payment to you the above listed beneficiary. The compensation payment amounting to USD5M is ready for immediate accessibility upon release of Secured PIN CODE via Special Purpose Payment Vehicle (SPPV) accordingly. To proceed with this compensation payment please be advised according to the updated advice received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this fund would be allocated according to your choice of payment from the available methods: Bank Draft, Bank Wire and ATM Card via Special Purpose Payment Vehicle (SPPV) to any nominee bank or address of your choice.

However, prior to initiating the payments you would be required to pay to notarize the documentation prior to submission to the paying bank and the notarization charge is in the amount of One hundred and fifty (£150GBP) British Pounds Sterling, once this payment is met you would receive a reference code via SMS to show completion of notarization and payment directives accorded immediately. This reference code received by you via SMS would be used to identify yourself with paying bank due to this highly encrypted SPPV, proper security is administered to ensure there is no interference during the course of payment to you within the stipulated ten working days. This amount is the only amount required.

Therefore payment of the notarization charges £150GBP is imperative to ensure proper the attached approval documents are legalized and ready for submission to the paying bank. Do ensure to comply with these directives and I will be attaching the classified documents on your response showing payment approval, requiring ONLY notarization for successful completion. In addition do not forget to send an email detailing choice of payment method from the options outlined above, thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Whiteman
Director Overseas Debt
Settlement Department
International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Anti-fraud resources: