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:
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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: "JAMES COSTOS" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2020 11:13:40 -0700
Subject: Re: Very Important Notice ()
Finance/Remittance Department Director
Int'l. Wire Transfer/Telex Department,
International Monetary Fund,(IMF).
I hope this email meets you in a good state of mind. Quite frankly, after a serious thought, I have decided to personally reach you directly because I do not have anything against you, but your so called representatives working with you to realize the remittance of your payment. However, have you ever wondered why you have been going this vicious circle over the past years with respect to having your fund paid to you without any success. It is possible that you were informed that your payment was brought to me for finalization, neither were you informed that I am the person frustrating every move to get your fund remitted to your local bank account in your country, I can assure you that this yet another deceit on the part of your representative(s).
Well, like I said earlier to you, I have nothing against you or your payment but Im only trying to protect my interest also. I do not want to mention names here, but am certain you are aware of whom I am referring to having not received your funds.
I am the Finance/Remittance Department Director, International Wire Transfer/Telex Department, International Monetary Fund (IMF) your funds conveyor. Sometime in the past a representative of yours approached me through a friend of mine who works with one of the Government Ministries here and requested that I assist him conclude a money transfer deal having you as the beneficiary and we all agreed. According to him, he wanted to use this strategy to transfer a huge amount of US Dollars by presenting your name as Beneficiary Whose fund has not been paid.
Although we agreed that once I did that, he would give me 20% of the total fund and he will equally give me your contact information before I release the fund to your account. When he saw that I have programmed your fund for onward transfer and your name has been approved among the list of those to be paid as instead of him letting me have your contact information to enable me regulate the transfer of funds and confirm when it arrive in your account to enable me send to you my private account details for my share of the 20% as was agreed previously, what he does was to start avoiding me and which thereafter, resorted to threats, because of that, I immediately deleted your payment initializing code (PIC) from the list of those to be paid, and this made it very IMPOSSIBLE for the transfer to be completed to your account.
However, his local representative became very angry when he came to discover I was able to truncate his illicit and deceitful plots and it could not work out as he wrongly wished. What he did was to start looking for other means of trying to bribe other junior officers along with some other financial agencies to see how they could assist him secure approval to enable them transfer the money to you but all their efforts were to no avail. Is it not so funny my good friend that you as a beneficiary are being asked to pay several statutory fees over and over without your fund being transferred to you as well expected. Well, your fund is right here with us and am 100% responsible for the delay and obstructions of completing the transfer of funds to your account because of the breach of the gentleman agreement between me and your representative. If you doubt what I have just told you now, then go ahead and pay any amount he may oblige you pay and thereafter, he will subject you into another form of tax payment.
(I). You must keep my information to you in this correspondence highly secret because I don't want to get involved with he, your local representative again in my life and I will have 10% of the money if successfully transfers to your local bank account because it is only two of us in connection to logical remittance of the fund to you.
(ii). You MUST assure me that you will not betray me at last and my own share will be safe until when I will redirect you to lodged my part of the fund into an account that I will forward to you.
(iii) As you have seen, it will be useless and a mere waste of money if you continue with your local representative and i can assure you that with trust and confidence we will conclude the transaction with utmost secrecy and confidentiality if you wish to adhere to my directives and instructions. If these conditions are acceptable to you, contact me as soon as possible to let us finalize all the arrangements and conclude the remittance of the fund to you immediately without any other delay attached.
I will give you more important details once I hear from you based on if you promise to keep away from your local representative and handle this matter with utmost confidentiality because I want to transfer the money without the knowledge of any other official of the bank or even without the knowledge of your local representative.
May the peace of our Jesus Christ be upon you.
Faithfully Yours in Him.
Finance/Remittance Department Director,
International Monetary Funds, (IMF).