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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "UNITED NATIONS" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2019 22:22:14 -0400
Subject: URGENT COMPENSATION
I am Dr. Andrew Taylor, the Director of Operations , United Nations Compensation Project Committee.
Following the recent Concluded Investigation Reports released by the World Bank Financial Recovery Board,
your name appeared on the list of scam victims due for August 2019 the IMF, WORLD BANK ORGANIZATION AND THE UNITED NATIONS, approved
to compensate you with the total sum of US$2,800,000 (Two Million, Eight Hundred Thousand United State Dollars)
This Project is strongly supported by the International Monitory Fund (IMF). Mandate has already been issued to ensure you compensation
payment is completed within 8 days after your application is submitted to the IMF. Therefore we advice you to submit the following information
to the IMF immediately.
1) Your Full Names:
2) Your Company Name:
3) Scanned Copy of your ID:
4) Your Phone/alternative Email:
5) Total amount lost at the time:
6) Your Country and residence address:
The above required information will enable you file your compensation payment application, so we advice you immediately
to submit the information to the below office .
Investigation / Operations Department
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND(IMF)
700 18th street, N.W Washington D.C, 20342
United State of America.
Tel : +1-202-788-0163
Fax : +1-202-611-8000
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact person : Mr. Peter Jones(Director of finance)
Dr. Andrew Taylor