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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Abebe Selassie <"www."@tea.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Abebe Selassie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2018 09:03:58 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Claim Of Ownership Report
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
RUE 02/48 CHEV AVE.MONDU ROAD COTONOU
BENIN REPUBLIC DEPARTMENT.
DEPT: WORLD DEBT RECONCILIATION AGENCIES.
YOUR OUTSTANDING PAYMENT NOTIFICATION,
Your number was found ( in the Central Computer among the list of unpaid contractors, inheritance next of kin and lotto beneficiaries that was originated from Africa,
Europe, Asia Plus Middle east, Americans ) among the list of individuals and companies that your unpaid fund has been located to the Capital Sure Bank. Your email appeared among the beneficiaries, who will receive a part-payment of your contractual sum of $15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million United Dollars) and it have been approved already. You are requested to get back to us for more direction and instruction on how to receive your fund.
However, we received an email from one Mr. Charles Wright who told us that he is your next of kin and that you died in a car accident last week. He has also submitted his account for us to transfer the fund to him but we want to hear from you before we can make the Transfer to confirm if you are dead or not? Please if you are still alive, kindly furnish us with below information:
1. Your Full Name.......
6. Telephone Number...........
7. Next Of Kin....N/A..............
8. Home Equity (Yes/No).........
Once again, I apologize to you on behalf Of IMF (International Monetary Fund) for failure to pay your funds in time, which according to records in the system had been long overdue. I wait to hear from you soonest.
Mr. Abebe Selassie
IMF Africa Department Director