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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Christine Lagarde" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2019 14:38:29 -0700
Subject: Your Compensation Payment
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
Address: 700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20431, USA
COMPENSATION SETTLEMENT OF ESCROW ACCOUNTS US$1,000,000.00
It is a pleasure to write you that we have reconciled with our logistic department on the reimbursement of some fund spent by you during the cause of your inadequate dealings with some imposters who claim to be staff in banks and other regional payment centers.
Our reconciliation teams with the prospectus instrument of the United Nations after freezing suspected imposters account. This support was fully effective with the help of World Bank after a summit meeting in United States, on the financial analysis on financial stability issues fluctuating their economy with the international global standard.
After gathering of this sum, our logistic department gave us a list of beneficiary to be paid who fall victims to this imposters due to unawareness. And mode of payment was as well specified for proper conducts and financial regulations to kick against criminality during process of payment.
We have arranged your payment through our swift card centers, which is the latest instruction from International Monetary Fund Reconciliation Office. The card center will send you an ATM Debit card which you will use to withdraw your money in any ATM Centre, Banks and Union Pay Credit outlets in the world, You are hereby selected as a winner for this payment approval, which you are to acknowledge the receipt of this mail in returning the required below to the Logistic Department by email listed below.
Office of Reconciliation and Logistics Vaults, International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Contact Manager: Mr. Jianhai Lin
Email: ( email@example.com )
1. Full Name
2. Phone and Fax Number
3. Your age and Current Occupation
4. Contact Address where you want your ATM Card to be delivered to (P.O Box Not Acceptable)
For your information, you have to stop any further communication with any other person (s) or office (s) to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment.
Because of Impostors, we hereby issued you our code of conduct, which is (ATM-0147) so you have to indicate this code when contacting the Card center by using it as your subject.
Kindly be informed that recipients shall be liable to all cost arising for the delivery of the donation parcel. This is due to Legal law protecting all donation funds misappropriation.
Yours in Service,
Ms. Christine Lagarde
Deputy Managing Director Of The
International Monetary Fund (IMF)